Thursday, August 26, 2021

How to prioritize important tasks amidst a plethora of urgent but unimportant tasks....


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

How to prioritize important tasks amidst a plethora of urgent but unimportant tasks.....

With a long list of ‘To Do’ stuff right in front of you, you might get anxious as to how to complete all of them. Here is what you need to do:

1) Find out the ‘Important Tasks’ and schedule them. Ensure you give yourself more time than you think you will need to finish those. That way, if you complete those tasks before time, you will still have some time in hand. Don’t get distracted when you are working on those. When you are on vacation, you do turn on the automatic message. Similarly, when you are working on an important task, at least for 2 hours or so, turn on the automatic message and let people know that you are working on a priority. Let them know that only in case of emergency, they can reach out to you in a designated way.

2) Now, an ‘Important Task’ may be vast. When you take that up, it might be overwhelming for you. So, break them into little tasks, focusing on the most important first. That way you will be able to achieve one tiny goal at a time and eventually reach the final goal. Sometimes crossing off one tiny item on a to do check list is also very satisfying.

3) Manage your feelings of anxiety. When you are focusing on an important project, and suddenly you receive an email from a colleague regarding another task to be delivered urgently, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. Think about a better way to handle that and get in touch with that colleague to check if that task is indeed ‘very urgent’?

4) Ensure you do not spend a lot of time on unimportant stuff. For example, if a web page has to be made simple, inform the team at the beginning of the project itself that they don’t have to spend a lot of time on elaborate designing.

5) When it comes to urgent but unimportant tasks, follow three simple rules. Automation, Standardization and Elimination. This will help you a lot in time management.

6) Pay attention to the big picture. Sometimes you end up putting a lot of time and effort in tasks which might not play any major role in the final project. Do study the details and do not waste your time on such tasks.


Monday, August 9, 2021

How to make returning to office easier? Tips for leaders.

Photo by Adolfo FĂ©lix on Unsplash


Many employers are contemplating on resuming office, maybe partially or full time. Now, here there would be mixed reaction from employees. Some of them will be willing to resume office while some of them will prefer working from home. There could be multitudinous reasons behind this. Many of the employees out there might have gone through tumultuous emotional turmoil during this pandemic. They might have witnessed poignant scenes and have been in agonizing state of mind. Hence, the fear, the pain might still be prominent.

Here are some tips for leaders to handle this situation:

1) Communication: Communication is the key to many questions. It will be wise to provide detailed information regarding all the necessary steps the organization has taken to ensure safety. That way employees who are somewhat nervous about coming back to work, will feel better. Not just that. Some employees might have developed self-doubts because of this long tenure of working remotely without face-to-face interaction. Hence it is imperative for leaders to make them feel at home. One step to follow here is praise genuinely and let them know that they are valuable assets of this organization. Leaders can talk about the genuine efforts put in by the team members and bring in some examples wherein the members have proved themselves.

2) Discuss concerns: The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health of people. Hence, there could be some employees who are facing issues, be it anxiety, be it fear of the unknown, be it the pain of losing someone close. Encourage them to speak out. Listen to them. There are stories wherein some people are against group therapy and fear people judging them, if they let people know about the panic attacks they get or the fright that has gripped them. Let your team members feel secure when they talk to you. Let them surrender their thoughts to you. If needed, guide them to get counselling.

3) Promote interpersonal connections: With people being away from office environment for so long, some employees may feel disconnected. They may have trouble building fresh new connections in office. Hence, leaders can arrange occasional luncheons, after office happy hours etc. to build that connect.

4) Take care of yourself and your emotions: As a leader responsible for many decisions and handling team members, it is very important for you to take care of yourself. Your mood swings, your physical and mental exhaustion can affect your decisions. Hence, taking care of yourself, physically and mentally is as important as taking care of your team members.