If you constantly feel like you have too many responsibilities or are frequently overwhelmed by your to-do list, it might be time to do some delegating and prioritizing. It’s important to decide what tasks take priority and what can easily be taken off of your plate or pushed back to make room for the items that are the most important — and keep your sanity.
According to Dorie Clark, “more things on your plate means your attention and energy must be dispersed, and that can prevent you from focusing on tasks that are critical.” This can often lead to forgetting about or not having time to complete the most important tasks on your to-do list. That’s why taking a step back and identifying the priorities among all of your tasks is going to make for much less stress.
According to The John Maxwell Co., “there’s never enough time to do everything, but there’s always enough time to do the most important thing.” Prioritizing what absolutely needs to get done is less overwhelming when you’re looking at all of your responsibilities. To begin this process, there are five steps to get you started:
- Write down your main goal
- Write down the tasks that need to be accomplished in order to achieve that goal
- Rank tasks in order of importance
- Highlight the top priorities and distribute your time among them
- Keep this list where it will be seen consistently, and repeat these steps with all of your goals or projects
Prioritizing your responsibilities as a leader definitely requires the ability to delegate. This way, you can properly decide who gets each task and ensure everything you need to get done will be done efficiently. Inc. offers some helpful tips to improve on delegation skills:
- Let go of the preconceived notion that you must complete every task by yourself
- Establish a priority system (like the five rules listed above)
- Make note of your team’s strengths and weaknesses, so responsibilities can be dispersed accordingly. If your team has gaps, figure out creative ways to get the right people in your circle.
- Make sure each task has clear instructions
- Help out the team by introducing and teaching new skills they may not have yet
- Trust the team to complete the task once it is assigned, but take time to check in and see if there are any difficulties
- Accept feedback on how efficient your delegation is, and provide feedback to your team as well
When the extra time is set aside to determine your priorities, you will actually save a lot of time in the long run. Rather than stressing about all of the things that need to be done, plan out what actually must be completed as soon as possible, and what can be set aside for the time being. And then delegate the tasks you can do without on your personal to-do list.
Need more help identifying your top priorities? Try using this Priority Matrix template.
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