Managing your workload – tips to help you become more productive and get more done!

We all lead busy lives! I am sure everyone knows the feeling of the day, week and even month flying by. It is therefore important we manage our time effectively, so we get the important things that need doing, done.

These top-ten tips will help you stay in control of your own time, so you can make sure you are spending it wisely.

Managing your workload in the process industry sector

  1. At the end of each day write a to-do list for the following day. You should only include urgent tasks, which must be completed the following day. Do not clutter your list with jobs you would like to get done – only ones that must be done (there is nothing worse than an unrealistic to-do list which you just cannot get through).
  2. If you feel you get regular interruptions throughout the day, record them. Try and work out the source of such interruptions. Is it colleagues? The phone ringing? Is it self-generated interruptions, such as browsing the internet? By identifying the source of the interruptions, you can begin to reduce their frequency impact.
  3. Organisation is the key to effective time management. Keep you mailboxes organised so information is easy to find, use different folders or different emails or types of emails, use trays to organise your workload. By organising yourself properly, you will find you have much more time to actually get things done.
  4. Try and reduce the requirement for follow-up meetings by attending each meeting with a personal agenda. Go prepared and leave with actions. By achieving something important following every meeting, you will be being more productive with your time.
  5. Prioritise. Look at the table below…
  • Most people work in quadrant 3 – these are usually other people’s urgent tasks which, because of the way they are delivered, become your own. Most people feel more comfortable working in this quadrant as it is very reactive and therefore requires little forward planning or working outside your comfort zone.
  • To ensure you get what you need to get done, you need to be spending the majority of your working day in quadrant 1 and 2 – these quadrants are your own personal workload and they are interconnected. To reduce the tasks arising in quadrant 1, you need to be working in quadrant 2 also.
  • Finally, try and reduce the time you spend in quadrant 4 and only engage in these tasks in allocated periods such as breaks.


It is most useful to identify tasks that land on your desk or get allocated to yourself using each of these quadrants. If it helps draw out the matrix and record each task in the corresponding quadrant. This will help you identify where you spend the majority of your time, and what changes, if any, you need to make.

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