working from home

WFH 102: Ways to Stay on Top of Your To-do List

Have you ever had a to-do list so long that you eventually felt unmotivated to work after seeing it? Have you ever felt that all the tasks on your list are a priority? When working from home, you are not exempted from the disaster of getting entangled with tasks and habits that are time-wasters.

Time-wasters can be colleagues who are always calling you for your input or you getting lost in the endless scroll the social media apps offers. Whatever it might be, these interruptions are hindering you from achieving your goals.

Schedules and checklists are a big part of productivity. They allow you to see the bigger picture of what you have to accomplish. Here are some ways to boost productivity:

Evaluate the time and value of your tasks

According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your results come from 20% of your tasks. This would mean taking control of your duties would lead you to more significant accomplishments.

Start with logging your tasks and how much time you need to accomplish them. Do not forget to register personal tasks like calling home, chatting with your colleague, or traveling to a meeting. This will allow you to see common patterns, like what time you are most productive and what small tasks are obstructing your goal.

On the other hand, you should also check which tasks produce the most and the least value. High-value jobs are the most in line with your goals. So, analyze the functions and how each job contributes to your goals. Consider asking yourself the consequences of doing and not doing these tasks.

Pinpoint your priorities

man on laptop

Time is too valuable to waste on activities that are not a priority, but the question always is, which of your tasks are a priority? You can classify your tasks on how valuable and time-sensitive they are. Use these four categories: critical, high, medium, and low.

Critical tasks are of high value and time-sensitive, like crises and deadlines. High tasks are of high importance but non-time sensitive. These are the tasks that need thinking, collaboration, and planning, such as working on the initial stage of web design services.

Your medium tasks are low-value but are time-sensitive, such as meetings and correspondence. Lastly, low tasks are the ones that have little value and are non-time sensitive. These are tasks that you can postpone, drop, or delegate. Remember, not everything on your checklist is a priority.

Create your to-do list

After categorizing your tasks, it’s time to rebuild or create your to-do list. While doing so, make sure that you break the list down to small achievable tasks. Small tasks are easy to tick off, giving you a sense of accomplishment. Be open in making revisions to your to-do list. Treat it as a living document where you are ready to make changes as needed.

Build your schedule

With schedules, begin with the end in mind. Go back to your priority matrix to see which tasks are needed to be done with the given deadline. Chunk similar jobs, so you can improve your focus. It is also a good practice to set aside time for your unfinished tasks from the previous day and complete those before moving to today’s schedule.

Taking these things to heart will prevent work disasters and keep you motivated, even when you’re working from home. Remember, you don’t have to accomplish everything on your checklist. You just have to ensure that all the critical tasks are done, and you are good to go.

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