Managing your daily tasks in 4 steps

By Tristan Anwyn

Getting everything done that needs to be accomplished in a day can be a tough task for a busy manager. There's always email to respond to or another phone message to return.

But making a conscious effort to manage your daily business tasks and prioritize them will help you get more done.

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Here are four tips to making sure all of your daily tasks get completed:

1. Make a list and prioritize it

It’s simple, but making a list is an important start! You can use task management software, email yourself, or simply bring out a pen and notepad. You should write down what you have to get done today in order to base your day and workflow around it.

Making a list is just the start, however; you'll also need to prioritize it. 

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Don't make the simple mistake of starting your day with the easiest tasks. The harder tasks won't get any easier as the day goes by, and you'll get more tired and less able to tackle them.

Begin your day with the large, important tasks, and leave the smaller ones for later.

2. Cut back on meetings

As the article 7 tips for busy managers says, it can seem like the bulk of your job is attending meetings.

Meetings can quickly suck up your time and energy, making you feeling like you're very busy, but not accomplishing as much as you hoped to. While some meetings are necessary, choose carefully about which ones indeed are. Some could be replaced with a short email or in-person conversation. 

Set aside a specific time for necessary meetings.

For example, choose one morning a week and try to schedule necessary meetings then. Meetings grouped together this way will eat into your time much less than meetings scattered throughout the week.

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3. Put time aside for emails and phone calls

The email notification sound can be a manager's worst enemy.

Continuing to stop working to read emails or return phone calls draws away at your time. Before you know it, the day is over and you've done a lot of "busy work" but nothing substantial.

Instead, try allotting a time to deal with email and phone calls. If you're worried about missing something important, you can schedule more than one "communications" session throughout the day - but do stick to those times.

4. Embrace delegation

Delegation is part of the remit of a manager, yet many managers fail to delegate as much as they could.

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Delegation is vital if you want to free up some time to focus on important tasks: The trick to making delegation work for you is to do so intelligently, and to ensure your staff has what they need to carry out their delegated tasks.

When choosing tasks to delegate, start with those you know are your weaknesses. By handing those tasks to employees who are stronger in them than you, you'll save yourself both time and stress.

Be honest about your strengths and the strengths of your team, to help you decide which tasks should be passed on, and to whom.

Delegation will be much easier if you put in the time to make sure your staff has the skills and knowledge they need to carry out the tasks given. Some training early on can save a lot of time spent re-iterating instructions later. 

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Appointing a responsible employee that staff can turn to with questions will minimize interruptions once a task is delegated.

Bottom line: Being a manager is a balancing act. By taking conscious charge of your time and tasks you can enjoy more productive days and more time spent on the tasks that really matter.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to manage your time effectively.

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