It is always efficient to know how to prioritize your work strategically. 80% of people struggle in their work based on the lack of work management.” -W7Worldwide Team

Working efficiently is a key element to a successful business. When all the people in your workplace know exactly what they are doing and are time efficient, all the processes are much smoother. A well-structured workload is crucial to good time management and works as a strong boost to productivity.

Let’s take an instance of a consultant. Each consultant can complete approximately 120 client service hours per month, these includes both billable and non-billable time on an account. Having said that, the position of each employee in the agency has a direct impact on this number.

For example, the CEO will have less capacity for client services, as he/she is also responsible for day-to-day operational activities like finance, HR, business development and general agency management. As a service business, your agency’s ability to grow is directly tied to human resources. If you grow too fast or don’t have the right people your agency requires, you will always risk under delivering on client expectations. To avoid that from happening, here are 7 ways you can use to prioritise your work and manage it efficiently:

1. The to-do lists

The worst thing you can do is to make this list in your head. And no, don’t put it down on a million post-its either. Instead, at the beginning of each day, list down on a sheet of paper everything you want to get done on that particular day. Once you have everything in front of you, rank the list in accordance to the importance and urgency of your tasks.

2. Remember the 80:20 rule of workloads

It doesn’t get simpler than this — 80 per cent of our work contributes to less than 20 per cent of its value. To get the most out of it, concentrate on the most crucial 20 per cent of your workload. This would cause your performance and productivity to be strong.

3. Set realistic deadlines for your tasks

Look at your to-do list and estimate the time that each of your task needs. But here’s something you must remember: Don’t be overoptimistic. Be realistic about how much you can achieve in a working day or a week. This will help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed right from the beginning.

4. Structure your workload

Don’t ever make the mistake of starting a task, doing it halfway through, and then starting something else while. Deal with each task one at a time and finish one thing before starting another. If you start five things and finish none of them, you will have nothing to check off from your to-do list. Moreover, despite having done some work, you will feel completely unproductive.

5. Don’t let your inbox drive your workload

If you get 50 emails every day, this means you will be interrupted 50 times a day. Don’t check your inbox every time you get a message even if you have to switch off instant alerts. Instead, allocate a time to reply to all of your emails and deal with them only once a day.

6. Challenge yourself

Ticking items off your to-do list is very satisfying, but does it really count when you only focus on the quick and easy ones? Tackling more challenging projects first might mean spending more time, but it also means that a major task is completed.

7. Keep a log of your workload

If you’re not sure about how long you take to complete a task, or how many times your focus deteriorates, you can keep a log of your working week. Studying this will help you understand your working habits and will facilitate planning your tasks in a more productive manner.