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How to Prioritize Tasks Effectively

If you have too many tasks and you understand that it’s impossible to do them on time – you should come up to the manager and say: “These are deadlines and these are tasks. If I resolve these issues, those ones will fail to meet the deadlines. Or, I can complete these tasks but the others will not meet the timeline. I cannot do everything within the defined time span.”

You should speak that out. The manager has your back and would not put you in a no-win situation. It is clear that the result will be unacceptable. The manager is sure to help you reorganize the schedule.

The worst thing to do is to put up with the deadlines which are impossible to meet and fail the task at the very end. By setting a task any manager needs quality code delivered on time. If that’s impossible, it is better to learn about that beforehand.

e-mail rules2

Important E-mail rules for developers and managers

1. There is a good rule for both developers and managers to keep to. An email should be replied within 15 minutes.
There are 2 ways to do it:

  • You can actually reply to an email: provide the information or do whatever is necessary.
  • Another way out is to reply within 15 minutes telling how much time it takes to provide a detailed answer. Some tasks are time-consuming.

2. Configure an email client so that letters with a set priority (teach your colleagues to set a sender's priority) should be displayed while others just accumulate.

  • Create folders.
  • Set filters so that emails should get into corresponding folders right away. Search criteria like From: or Subject: help you manage your emails.

3) Set Autoreply or activate Vacation responder option.

e-mail rules

4) Teach the colleagues who email you, to set the priority or assign color categories. Such emails are eye-catching. They get higher positions when categorized. It is natural to react to emails with a higher priority first.

Managers should teach their subordinates to work with emails efficiently. For example, a top-manager should teach his or her direct subordinates and demand that from them. The latter should teach their managers and pay attention to that. 3 months later it will become a habit and a skill which does not require additional control. If the opportunity is missed, you have to start everything from the very beginning and control it for 90 days. There are no other ways to handle the task.

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