Prioritising your Workload
Written by: Anna Dugdale Picture by: Jess Bailey Designs for Pexels
Since moving into a second lockdown, prioritising your workload is more important than ever. With a lot of college and university work being moved online, as well as some working from home and being furloughed, it can be hard to structure your days properly. Keeping yourself busy and active is super important in these times.
Something that I find helpful is using a planner. Personally, I use a daily planner so I can meticulously plan my time and tasks for that day, no matter how small they may be. I put both university related tasks and menial tasks on the list, as crossing more things off my list makes me feel more productive. The planner I use is the CGD London ‘Getting Stuff Done’ planner, it has a planning section for the day where you can list everything you need done, a section where you can plan your meals, shopping list and expenses, daily exercise, water intake, self-care and personal notes. I tend to either plan my day the night before, by simply making a list of the main tasks I need to get done the next day, or in the morning when I get up. By not planning things ages in advance, it allows me to prioritise tasks according to how far away deadlines are, how stressed I am over each task and what I am doing in my spare time that day.
I find timetabling my day restrictive and hard to stick to, so in terms of timekeeping I tend to have a time I have to begin working by and a time I finish working at. This allows me time to start my day properly and time to unwind at the end. An app on my phone that I find helpful is a built in iPhone one, the sleep/wake-up alarm. You can schedule a time to get off your phone and sleep and a time to wake up. You can also set it up for certain days, which means you don’t have to faff around every night before you sleep trying to find the correct alarm. I prefer to work for around 5/6 hours a day, normally from 12 till 5/6.
While being at home, I’m spending an increasing amount of time on my phone. My screen-time has skyrocketed and it’s hard to not get distracted when everyone else seems to be on their phone’s and using social media. As my phone is always with me, I always schedule important deadlines into my phone calendar and set up alerts. This often reminds me before it’s too late of a deadline.
In terms of prioritising which work I need to do first, I tend to work through deadlines; which piece of work is due first. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If I have a more substantial piece of work, like a project, I will prioritise that over something smaller, like note-taking. With a more substantial piece of work, I tend not to do it all at once, I’ll try to do it over the course of a week or no, time permitting. This allows me to have a clearer mind as I can reread what I have done in previous days and correct it properly.