As your work day winds up, you may realise you didn't finish everything on your to do list. So what should you do first? Fast Company suggests a mental trick to figure out your priorities: pretend there's a villain who will switch the power off in an hour!
Photo by Alan Cleaver
It's a funny example and not to be taken literally, of course. The broader point is to set aside that one hour (or any amount of time you see fit) where you don't take any meetings and have no interruptions. It's also important to adhere to the deadline of when you want to leave. So if that remaining time was all you had, what would be the one task you want to do and what would you put off? Here's how Fast Company phrases it:
PERFORM A 4:00 P.M. TRIAGE.
Choose a time — ideally 60 to 90 minutes before you intend to leave — and don't make yourself available for formal appointments after this time. Instead, revisit the day's to-do list and pretend that an evil villain has informed you he will cut off the power to your building at 5 p.m. Knowing that, what would you still choose to do, and what would you push off? Most likely, you'll be back at work tomorrow. A lot of stuff can wait.
The idea of a task review at the end of the day isn't anything new, but where this one differs is that apart from the review, you also get one actionable item right then. After that, you are free to schedule anything for the next day. There's nothing stopping you from taking the most important task and do it the first thing in the morning — eat the live frog, as they say.
The full article at Fast Company has some other great tips to save time and work more efficiently, like talking with everyone after lunch instead of at the end of the day so you don't hang around. Hit the link to read more.
7 Ways To Knock An Hour Off Your Work Day [Fast Company]