Being an entrepreneur can make prioritizing tasks difficult, especially when you work with multiple clients. There’s always email messages coming in, new tasks popping up in Teamwork, and a to-do list already growing in your planner. It can often feel overwhelming, which is exactly what we don’t want to happen. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned a lot about how to best prioritize my tasks and hope this will be helpful for your business too!
Use A Project Management Tool
As a virtual assistant (VA) I’ve learned how important it is for me to use an online Project Management tool to keep my tasks in order. I personally use Teamwork to know what’s on my agenda each day but there are also many other tools out there to choose from. In Teamwork, I set due dates accordingly and based on when I know I need a project or task completed.
Teamwork sends a report every morning with what’s next on the list or due the same day that way I’m not forgetting what needs to get done.
Once I review the Teamwork report and know what’s due that day, I use my Productivity Planner to keep me on track throughout the day. The Productivity Planner is incredible, it helps you streamline your tasks. It has you start the day by prioritizing your top five tasks, in order. You are not allowed to skip, you must complete the most important tasks first.
They use the Pomodoro Technique, which has you work in 25-minute increments. I always fill this out after my Teamwork report so I know what I NEED to get done and then what I need to prioritize after that.
Don't Overthink It
To be able to do the above step, you need to know HOW to prioritize. This isn’t something you should overthink. If you have a client whose task was due yesterday and it’s still not done today, that should be one of the first things you tackle. Then you should prioritize the remaining tasks you have to complete by the end of the day.
Don’t overthink it and know what times of day you perform certain tasks best. If you’re more creative in the morning then prioritize creative tasks then. If you’re better on the phone in the afternoon then open your appointments for after lunch. The most important thing to remember when prioritizing your task list for the day is complete items that can’t be done tomorrow, today and think ahead to what is coming in the next week.
Time Block Your Day
The last thing I find extremely helpful is time blocking my day accordingly. I will have a blog post about this soon that goes more in-depth, but time blocking is when you schedule your entire workday down to the minute. This might sound constricting but it actually helps you get more done and be more productive.
When you time block you know how much time you have for certain tasks and that task is your only priority during that time window. With time blocking you know you have one hour for writing social media content, 45 minutes for lunch and two hours to work on your course, etc. You can also schedule in 15-minute breaks between tasks to give you time in case you rollover. If you’ve never tried time blocking before, experiment with it for a week to learn what’s best for you.
I also encourage you to actually write what you want to get done in that time block. For instance, don’t just block off 2:00-4:00 pm and say it is for social media content writing. Actually put descriptive goals in the calendar description like, “Write 30 social media posts for the month.” That way you can be productive AND hit your goals.
Rooting for you,
How To Prioritize Tasks As A Virtual Assistant
September 25, 2019