Optimal Living

How to Prioritize/ Organize Work

A major mistake when we have all been busy yet not productive is that we have finished the tasks that were of less importance. Making us tired and exhausted. Whenever we feel the most productive we jump in to finish the tasks/chores that are easy or that we enjoy.
I know I have struggled with planning and organizing work but the most I struggle with is my mood. When I am totally energetic I want to dedicate myself to my blog or do video editing etc. But then I miss out on catching up with the work I do for others making me work in the last minutes. However now, this is how I organize work.
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Know what you love doing
First, find out and list down all of the tasks, chores that you enjoy doing a lot or find to be the most interesting. It could be something that helps you relax or brings out your creative juices. These are the tasks that you are ready to do at any time of the day. Then list down the tasks that are left or are the most boring or menial to you.
Know when you feel the most active
Now that you know what work you love and the tasks that you dread, identify the time of the day you feel most productive and the time of the day you feel dull. Like there is a time of the day such as in the morning where you dress up and feel like you can conquer the world. But then by the end of the day, you just want to space out or scroll through your social media feeds. Or is that you feel the most productive during the evening rather than the morning? Go ahead, figure it out.
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Work on the most important yet boring things when you feel the most active.
Work on the things that could be or not be significant but you feel most passionate about when you are not really feeling active.
Now what I like to do is whenever I feel the most confident and energetic I take up the tasks that I dread the most. Work that I know is important yet boring. And the work that I find interesting or enjoy doing are the things I involve in at the most unproductive hours of the day.
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When you try to do the activities or tasks that you are passionate towards when you don’t feel the most constructive, it still will push you to freshen up, feel energetic and churns up those creative juices and will allow you to stay up late or even wake up early just to complete that task. Or let you not mind an extra cup of coffee to help you with finishing the work.
If the work is important, consider it done. But if the work isn’t much of importance or which doesn’t have a certain deadline attached to it, you will be glad you didn’t waste the most energetic hours on it.
The important and tedious work should always be tackled with when you are the most constructive and have all the energy without any efforts. Usually, the critical work is always the ones we dread the most. Yes, the work or chore which is very boring and you wish you didn’t have to really do it. But it also has to be completed by a deadline or is something really beneficial. For students, it could be finishing a project that they don’t really find interesting or for people who have to prepare a presentation for a meeting that they wish didn’t have to attend but is crucial for the career.
For instance, even if I am not in my best of moods to work in the evening or by night I enjoy finding new ideas, getting inspired, video editing etc for which I wouldn’t mind staying up late.
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Now if the interesting activities that are kept for the time of the day you don’t really feel like working feels like a burden to you even if you would love to complete it, don’t touch it. Understand that the work you want to do should inspire you to become more creative and make you feel energetic. If you don’t feel it maybe its because the tasks need to be reorganized and shifted to something you don’t really enjoy or perhaps it is just some load of that particular day which is making you feel more exhausted, not allowing you to do anything more.
What I feel with any kind of activity or work we do on a daily basis we tend to scan through all of the work and pick out the most interesting ones when we are totally enthusiastic ending up shoving the most significant of tasks to be completed when we don’t really feel active. We end up postponing or piling up more and more work for ourselves.
There can definitely be more than one pattern of organizing or prioritizing work and this one can be part of the many ways you follow.

Thanks for reading! Hope you find it helpful.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook @kanishkassocial for an extended version of what goes in my life as a silent observer.

 

42 thoughts on “How to Prioritize/ Organize Work

  1. These are some really great tips thanks for sharing! It is also a good idea (this mainly goes for women) to chart during your cycle when you are feeling most productive, It has been proven that women at certain tmes of their cycle are actually more productive, so scheduling important tasts like essays or work projects, perhaps meetings or times to write blog posts for example around that time will benefit you greatly and avoid any writers block or even procrastination. 🙂

  2. Thanks for these tips! It’s important as you say to remember that sometimes if it feels too hard, maybe it’s not right! xx

  3. These are wonderful tips! I’m a fan of to-do lists. I usually prioritise them on things that must get done today, things that I need to do, but aren’t necessary at that moment or day & long term to-do’s 🙂

  4. Yes! I second the idea of doing important but boring work when you feel most active. For me, this is is in the morning so it clears that stuff off my schedule straight away. I was horrible at sticking to this in college but I’m so glad I’ve gotten in the habit of doing it now that I work for myself. Totally keeps me organized and productive!

  5. One thing I’ve tried to manage is procrastination. But somehow I have been able to figure it out to make sure I meet timelines….Being intentional about most of my activities have helped me too….Thanks for the tips

  6. Excellent tips! Finding your true passion is super important! It’s also good to find out when and where you’re most effective. For me that where part is more important than when. If I try to study on my bed for example, I’ll for sure fall asleep – but in library I’ll for sure be able to study and work with my blog irrespective of the time and weekday. 🙂

  7. Good tips! However, what if a certain task has to be done at a certain time? For instance, I have to straighten certain aisles (I’m in retail) at a certain time of day. Some days I find it enjoyable; some days I’d just rather not. How would you manage this?

    1. It seems like an important task and also because it has a deadline. As I have mentioned no matter what you should focus on finishing off the important tasks before anything else. You say you do enjoy the task some days but are you passionate about it? Then maybe it doesn’t bring out any creativity in you which is why you some days have difficulty doing it. Maybe you should practice on feeling more active during the time of the day when you have to straighten the aisles. Or maybe those days when you feel super pumped do a little extra.
      Everyone has those days when they just feel like not doing the most beloved of tasks! Which is why rather postponing look for ways you can work on it beforehand, so on those lazy days it will be easy to relax knowing you don’t have too much to handle. It is an everyday task so you need to identify when you feel the most active and surely there may be days you don’t feel enthusiastic for a whole day. It is better to always work ahead of time.
      Does it help?

  8. Really interesting ideas. The idea of “work on the most important yet boring things when you feel the most active” is quite profound. It makes perfect sense. I would like to start doing this. Recently, I went to a productivity talk, and the speaker gave many interesting ideas, but one that stuck with me was the idea of “one good thing or just one thing”. Basically, the idea is that if you could choose just one item that must get done, and by doing it, it would make you happy, then do it. I have applied this idea to things for the past 3 days. As to your idea of doing the most boring or unexciting things first certainly would take self-discipline, but I think it’s a great idea.

    1. That’s the thing about productivity I think, you can go about many ways or stick with one way to get things done. Sometimes what we think works now won’t be applicable after a certain period of time, due to change of activities or tasks. So it totally depends! But yes most of the time you need to have some self discipline to work with things that especially doesn’t impress you much! Thanks for your thoughtful comments, really appreciate it. 🙂

    1. Yes, it is kind of normal for some to not feel energetic some days which is why there are ways they can help themselves get better at working. Thanks for your comments!

  9. I am sure glad that i chanced upon your post. Just today I made a resolution of sorts to start the day with a clear plan as usually my day just goes off in a whirl. I will now apply these tips while planning today. Believe me i know it will be tough.. its so much easier to pick up something I enjoy even if it’s not important. Thats how i have ended up in such a mess in my life.

      1. I tried your tips and i still failed..somehow prioritizing and working as per plan is something i am just not able to do. I try and will continue to try. Am trying to use my blog as a means to be accountable. Can you check it out and let me know if there is any specific advice for me.
        theunorganizedme.wordpress.com

    1. Okay firstly I would suggest for you to be more careful when this happens! I did write articles on how to avoid distractions at workplace, how to tackle talkative coworkers etc as part of my work as a content writer! As part of the research the key is to practice a lot of self discpline! Few other tips I would like to suggest is when you are approached by a coworker to have chit chats quickly ask them if it is important if not then you need to be excused as you are in the middle of doing something very important. If you are allowed to wear headphones then you could probably pretend you wont be able to listen to anyone and engross in your work. If this person is your superior you should talk it out that you are finding it difficult to work when they are chit chatting. If someone is talking to you something about work as them to be precise. I know they might think rude of you but you have to state that you dont mean to be rude but you are actually lagging behind at work and they can only be helpful by giving you some time to refocus. Interruptions will happen it is you who has to deal with it if you really want to be effective. If they really want to talk to you why not give them a scheduled time like at lunch or after you have completed a certain task.
      You dont have to think you are on the wrong when you get distracted some responsibility falls on others too and they wont know unless you talk to them right? Hope I have been helpful is there any other reason you are not being able to be productive??

  10. Good tips – I’d also say that we all need to figure out our productivity hot buttons and weak points. Is it distractions or maybe lots of incomplete work? Or simple avoidance?

    1. It really depends on the situation we may have been procrastinating or taking things too lightly and perhaps there are times we get swamped with work. Distractions exist to the most and so yes we need to discipline ourselves better.

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