Posted on July 5, 2013 · Posted in Leadership, Management, Marketing

On a chaotic day, even some of the most organized people can lose track of their tasks. Things like office emergencies and emails can take up surprising amounts of time and by the end of the day, you’re left wondering what you’ve actually achieved.

Working environments can be changeable and varied so you need to set yourself up to succeed. Having a task or to-do list is a great first step but keep in mind that things don’t always go according to plan. Try to factor in all those pesky daily distractions and have some rules in place for how you handle situations. Read these five tips to plough through your task list.

Set up systems
Confusion and inconsistency can cost you a lot of time so set up a system for how you go about accomplishing your tasks. Prioritizing particular activities and making rules to go with them is a good way to standardize your behavior.

Think about what would work best for your situation. It can be simple things like putting aside time to work on your tasks without distractions or even delegating some tasks. Either way, introduce some routine to how you go about your activities.

Stick to the necessities
Ever had one of those days when your to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer? While you may have a general list of tasks at the start of your day, you need to remember that new tasks are going to be thrown at you along the way. Check back on your task list every now and then and ask yourself, ‘do I really need that on my list?’ and stick to your important tasks.

Estimate realistically
Sometimes tasks you think are easy can take a lot of time to accomplish because you aren’t familiar with it or you encounter problems. When you’re estimating how much time you think a task will take, be realistic and factor in extra time for problem solving.

Ask for help
No man is an island and it’s okay to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Whether you just need a second opinion or an extra pair of hands to meet a deadline, rely for others on support when you need it.

Check your resources
A lot of the time, you hit roadblocks when you don’t have the right resources to get the job done. It could be anything from information, funds or expertise. Without the right resources, you can’t move forward. Check that you have everything you need for the task before you start it. The last thing you want is to be waiting around on something when you’re in action mode.

Staying on task can be difficult when you have a dozen other requests and tasks flying your way. Follow these five tips to work through the chaos and get back on track.

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