The things we need to do are not only put on the to-do-list on our own initiative. On the contrary, we are often asked to do something by others.
It might be our boss who asks us to extract a certain material, it could be a client who asks for a quotation, it can be all kinds of things.
All too often we hurry and rush what is not actually urgent. The consequences are that we get stressed and work overtime without it really being necessary.
Do you tend to guess?
Ask yourself in all honesty, to what extent do you ask the person asking you to do something when he or she needs it? How often do you just make a guess and finish it as soon as possible just for the sake of it?
To prioritize accurately, you need to be fully aware of what is expected of you. If you are just guessing, the probability that you make an incorrect priority and allow for more urgent and important matters to be set aside for no good reason, increases.
So, do not guess. If you are ambitious, you will probably supply the material at an earlier deadline than what was needed or expected.
- Whenever you are asked to do something or get back to someone with something, ask “When do you need it?”
- If the person responds with “When can I have it?” or “As soon as possible”, suggest a specific due date within a reasonable time-horizon.
- If you tend to over-achieve or if you are a time-optimist, add some extra time to the due date that first pops into your mind and which you intended to suggest.
- Perhaps this will make you enter a “deadline-negotiation” regarding when to deliver. Great, isn’t it! This means that you will agree on something very concrete and you will easily be able to schedule the task in relation to all the other things waiting to be completed.
And the effect is…
If you pose the question, it will be easier to do the right thing at the right time. And what can be more relaxing than being sure of that?
How do you do it?
What´s your trick to spending just enough time and energy on a task?
Please leave a comment below.