Productivity Tip – Don’t let one task, project or client take over your time

We all have a lot of things that we have to do, if you are a freelancer or consultant you probably have more than one customer, and even if you have just one customer (or employer) there always several things that have to get done.

The standard technique for choosing what to work on next is to just pick the task that looks most urgent and do it, a task often gets to this "most urgent" status just by belonging to the most annoying client or the most stressful project – or sometimes, if you know how to prioritize, than to your most important client or project.

But the real problem is that you end up spending all your time on the most urgent (or most important) client or project, and neglecting your other work.

Like a lot of other things this all comes down to planning, just like you have to write your task list and prioritize tasks you have to decide how much time you're going to spend on each task or project.

Decide what percentage of your time you're willing to spend on each client or project, just remember to include overhead, finding new clients, marketing and anything else you have to do that is not actual "work", also, it's good to leave some spare time just in case something truly urgent pops up.

Now, you have to check how your actual work time allocation compares to your decision – if you track your time by hand you are in for some tedious and time consuming going over timesheets – but if you use time tracking software like yaTimer you can just print a report.

This is where yaTimer's client breakdown and project breakdown really come in handy, if your time tracking software doesn't have such a report you can download the yaTimer trial version here.

You should check your time allocation weekly or monthly and adjust your prioritization to compensate, that way you won't stray too far from your decision.

posted @ Monday, December 17, 2007 10:57 AM

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