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Prioritization: Essential in Meeting Deadlines

It is not once or twice in the course of our work that we have to meet deadlines. They crop up all the time. That is ok enough it is only that when we approach the deadline everything goes haywire and there is a mess everywhere. The things we do daily are thrown completely off gear and meeting the deadline becomes a big head ache.

Is there any way out of this? Of course there is. For one thing, if we are well organized and an urgent matter crops up, there is nothing to sweat about. All we have to do is deal with the situation and move on.. Easy enough it sounds!

But in real life there are hundreds of other things that need doing. An urgent matter cropping up will disrupt our sense of order and throw us off for the whole day. Then what do we do?

The only way out seems to be having to work extra hours.

But another alternative is to prioritize. See whether you can arrange your work in such away that you get to do the more important tasks first. If there is some daily work that doesn’t call for too much urgency, keep it aside. Concentrate on the more important tasks.

Make sure you have a To-Do List. Number your list in the order of importance. When something new comes up, you can see at a glance what tasks can be moved to tomorrow's to do list.

While you are working there may be a thousand and one distractions at your work place or office. You will have to decide which is more important, attending to those distractions or focusing on your work.

Hint: You will enjoy your social life much more if you know you have left no task undone at work.

Prioritize and Delegate

It is not necessary that you do all the jobs yourself. If you have good help, trust them with some of your jobs. The word is ‘delegate’.

Delegation can be the best time saver. The three advantages of delegating are:

  • Delegating gives us more time to concentrate on more important issues.
  • Delegating is a very good method of giving practical training in the real situation to our staff or children.
  • It is a good method of fostering decision making among subordinates.

But at the same time all tasks cannot be delegated. There are certain criteria to be taken into consideration before delegating a task. The criteria for deciding whether a task can be delegated are:

  • If the task is repetitive, by all means delegate.
  • If the decision can be reversed quickly and easily, it is safe to delegate. For example if is rearranging the furniture or deciding on the Christmas celebrations at the office, then it is quite safe to delegate.
  • Check and see if the impact is not too much on others in case the decision is wrong
  • Check and see if there is too much money or physical resources involved in the decision.

If you prioritize you can decide which jobs should be done first, who should do it and what should be done when. Before you know it, meeting deadlines will stop being such a headache.


Read "Procrastination: Cause and Cure."



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