Our last few self-mastery-of-your-schedule blogs have been about eliminating, automating, and delegating tasks, but what happens after you’ve done all you can? The tasks that are remaining can then be ranked in the order of what needs to be done first and schedule it on the calendar.
Self-Mastery of Your Schedule Step 9 of 11: Categorize Your Tasks
CATEGORIZE AND CREATE LISTS
There are three things to look at when categorizing tasks you need to work on:
Categorizing your tasks can help with the overwhelming feeling of looking at a list of 25 things. To manage your schedule wisely, end your day with categorizing your tasks for the next day so you’re ready first thing in the morning.
Go to each task and assess quickly, don’t overthink, if it falls into all 3 categories. If so, this is your A list. If the task falls into 2 categories, this is your B list. One category and it’s your C list. List C can usually be delegated to other team members. That way, they will still get done and done on time. List B can be scheduled later or delegated depending on their timeline. That leaves you with list A.
We don’t have to tell you to beware of tasks you can’t account for — you know, the surprise ones — products didn’t come in, a vendor is late, a client has an emergency, a situation needs your attention. There is always a high probability of low probability events that can happen every day.
First, never discourage your team members from coming to you with questions to a task you delegated to them. As we covered in our fourth self-mastery blog, there are ways to encourage team members to find ways to help themselves.
Second, you will find some surprise tasks need your attention, make sure you re-prioritize your list as some may have to get pushed out to the following day. That’s life and you must be okay with that. If it affects other people, then communicate with them.
Lastly, as you start to tackle the A List, you might start to think that multitasking will help you start everything. With that thinking, you most likely will get started on everything, but will not finish anything. This was outlined in our second self-mastery blog. Remember, it takes 20 minutes to get back into a task you’ve been pulled from. So make sure you are using ideas from our third self-mastery blog to help block out your time for those big tasks.
DICTATE YOUR OWN TIME
A common problem is when people, like team members, start talking to us, the conversation starts to dictate our time. Yes, we want to be good listeners. But, we also want to be good leaders. No one wants to intentionally make others late for a meeting or phone call. To remedy this, dictate your own time to the people talking to you. For example, when someone asks to talk to you, don’t just say sure and let them talk for however long suits them. Instead, say, “yes, but I only have five minutes before I have to get ready for my next meeting,” or whatever task you have planned. That way, you dictate your time to stay on your task list for the day.
If you would like to learn more about how you can become more efficient with your schedule, check out our other blogs or contact us. Our business coaches would love to sit down with you to help guide you to managing your business smoothly.