Most of us have had the feeling of looking at an out-of-control to-do list and thinking, “No human on earth could possibly get all this done.” Try it and you’ll be on the fast-track to burnout.
Prioritizing your work is a key strategy for avoiding burnout. Step back from your daily grind and get into a prioritization mindset by asking the questions below.
What’s the “Why” of my work? Strengthen the connection between the reason you’re doing the work and actual task. If you find that your task has little to do with your larger goals, you may not need to do it.
What are my intentions for today or this week? Where and how do you set intentions for your work day or week? For instance, some people take a half hour at the end of the week to pick out the 3-5 major “must-do” tasks on their plate for the following week.
How will I recalibrate? How do you adjust as new information arises? When will you make time to reflect on recent events and how they affect the Why of your work?
What really matters? Not all tasks are equally relevant. High priority tasks may be a small portion of the whole; don’t let them get lost in the depths of your to-do list. Consider how do you know what is most important about what you are working on and develop strategies to remind yourself of what matters when you get down deep into the task.
How will I communicate and connect? The space between two roles on a project is a big cause of waste and re-work. Sacrificing the communication usually comes back to bite us. What adjustments can you make to better connect with others on your project and ensure they have what they need?
What’s sufficient to the task? How much of a good thing becomes too much? Some things are required, others are optional. Knowing which is which helps manage the time investment. What is sufficient to meet the needs? What else would you like to do? What is the best level of effort for this situation?
How will I rejuvenate? Punctuate your intense work sessions with periods of rejuvenation. When you need to “turn it on,” what works for you? What relief valves do you use to “reset” and come back ready to dive in the next day?
How do you prioritize? Let us know in the comments below.