Systematically Manage Tasks With These 5 Simple Questions
When I was working in a boutique real estate firm, I learned how to approach and prioritize the day’s tasks and long term projects from my boss. We would ask ourselves five questions to each task or issue on our plate. We wouldn’t take more than one minute to make a decision on each topic. I really liked her style, so I’m going to share it with you. You can also apply these responses to just about everything in your life. See how it works for you.
Can I cut it out?
Are you on a project that is leading to a dead end? Do you have a business relationship or client that is heading nowhere fast? Just cut it out.
Stop doing whatever it is you’re doing and if you have to close up loose ends, do so immediately. If we couldn’t help a client, we’d simply refer them over to a qualified person who could. Which leads me to the next question.
Can I delegate it?
Is there something you’re doing that someone else can do with better precision? Are you wasting your time on tasks that are not as important than your other tasks, but still require attention? Delegate it now.
Do I respond?
Is there a situation that requires your advice or a statement from you? Do you need to make a decision soon? If so, do the research it takes to come back with the best possible, well-informed question.
Sometimes, there are hot situations that require no response at the present time and require some time to cool down. Work on your response mechanisms rather than by simply reacting to a situation.
Personally, this is my favorite tip. So many of us believe that the faster we make our responses, the better. However, feel free to take some time to think and reflect on the topic at hand. At some level, this tip requires some discipline on your part.
Can I postpone?
This question works nicely with how you respond. Do you need more time to gather more information? Do you not have enough time to properly approach a new project?
This is the perfect opportunity to ask yourself why you have postponed before. Are you postponing because you’ve changed your mind? Maybe you do don’t feel like going with an idea anymore. If so, go back to question one and cut it out.
Do I tackle now?
Is there something that needs to be done today? Now? Put these items at the top of your to-do this. If you have to cut out something, make it an immediate priority to do so. What are you waiting for? Manage your tasks now!
Ask yourself these simple questions when managing your projects and daily tasks. If you’ve tried this method, come back and post a response. Have another question you’d like to add? Post it now!
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