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How to prioritise

In this video you will receive some concrete examples on how you can prioritize your tasks at work in order to create a more balanced work schedule.
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In order to balance your workday, it’s also important that you learn how to prioritize and actually how to compromise. When I reflect back on my work life, the over 20 years of working at the university here, I realized that I’ve changed the way I prioritize things and I put value on different things. And I’m going to share with you something that I don’t think a lot of textbooks bring up. And that is my way of reasoning about things.
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So I have decided for myself: who matters to me, what activities matters to me, and what’s what’s good for my career path? And I make work prioritizations and personal prioritizations based on that. I even assign value to my personal time because time is money suddenly when you’re stressed. And tasks that I don’t like to do, and there are people that work professionally working with those things, I’m willing to pay some money for other people to do those things because my leisure time is valuable to me. But when it comes to prioritization, I’ve started compromising on things or not doing tasks, actually, that don’t fall into my category of things I prioritize.
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But there are certain people, colleagues that I value because they are they are the kind of people who help me that I can help, that I can discuss with, that I can, you know, get support from. And when they ask me to do something, they are very high on my list of priorities, and I might stop doing other things in order to complete their tasks, because they are important to me. And completing their tasks is something that I value. Or, when it comes to activities that fall into the work description that I have for myself, that I think, well, that activity really is what I am supposed to do.
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That is something that we prioritize because that is what I supposed to do. And I will stop doing other things maybe or procrastinate other things or a delegate other things.
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And, I might not prepare for a meeting if I think, well, this is just another meeting and the task I was supposed to do really doesn’t help me in any way. And I can probably improvise. There are so many different things that I don’t do, and I think this is where you might not have heard this very often, but I skip a lot of things. Because they are not important to me, to my career, and the effects or the consequences of me not doing those things are usually not that high. And I have so many other things that I could do that are better for my career, for the people I prioritize, for these activities that matter to me.
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And I realized that. Other people are doing this as well, meaning that if I don’t speak up like, I have not prepared my task for this meeting, if I’m not the first one to speak, there is usually someone else that says, oh, sorry, I didn’t do my thing for this meeting. And I just go, OK, then, and no one’s the wiser that I didn’t do my task. I’m not lying or anything like that. It’s just that I don’t advertise that I didn’t do my thing, right. And that way, I can actually balance my workday a lot better.
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And to just give you a short tip on how you can deal with this, if you are called out, so to speak, is that I might, five minutes before the meeting, if I have a discussion point or a thing I should have prepared, I might just prepare a question, an open discussion or something. And if if I’m called for to report, I would just go, yeah, I was thinking maybe we can do something like this. What do you think about… and I leave it for the for the room to discuss this particular item and then I just listen to what everyone is saying and I summarize what they’re saying and then, yeah, let’s do that.
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And it appears as if I actually prepared.
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So that is how I prioritize things. Another thing I started doing is compromising, and I realize not everything deserves my hundred percent.
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As a university employee, someone who’s worked in a lot of projects, large projects, even managed several large projects. I am often asked to do a lot of reporting and some of these reports take a long, long time. Now, there was this funding scheme that required lots of reporting and other people spent weeks preparing these reports. And I was too stressed. So I started just producing reports. I wrote them down. I didn’t spellcheck them. I didn’t check if I repeated myself or anything like that. And I just handed it in. Took me two hours, just produced some text handed in and it was accepted. I was like, oh, can I really do this? Let’s do this.
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I started doing this for every report. And I think once I got feedback saying, oh, you need to fix this. And they detailed exactly what I needed to fix. It took me 20 minutes. So I saved weeks of work by just delivering good enough. And that was fine. So, find out… based on your prioritizations and based on what you’ve from experience learned matters, you can start focusing on things, giving you 100 percent on the things that matter and just giving 50 percent for the good enough for other things. And to sum up, perfectionism may lead to job stress.
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So if you could just do enough and focus and do your best on the things that matter that can help you balance your workday.

In this video you will receive some concrete examples on how you can prioritize your tasks at work in order to create a more balanced work schedule.

Discussion

Before moving on, do you spend time on the right tasks?

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Keywords

  • Prioritise
  • Compromise
  • Work balance
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