Are all those little tasks on your to-do list eating away at your productivity? Do you find yourself struggling with organizing your day’s tasks effectively and completing them on time? If so, there are four easy questions to answer before starting any task- at home and at the office.

4 Time Saving Questions to Ask Before Completing any Task

1.       How relevant is the task to my priorities and goals? When daily tasks threaten to overwhelm your schedule, it’s important to keep your eye on the bigger picture and evaluate a task’s relevance when compared to your priorities and short and long term goals. This helps you get the biggest and most important task in motion before the smaller ones chip away all of your working time for the day. However, if you find that many lesser important tasks are being pushed from day to day on your calendar, it’s time to call in some help to tidy up these leftovers before they become a problem.

2.       Can I/Should I delegate this task? Effective time managers know that the key to productivity is to avoid being bogged down with micromanaging every task. If someone else in your family or office is capable and willing to perform the task, pass it on and move on to the next item on your list. Tasks that do not require high levels of performance, like taking out the trash, scooping the cat box, or stapling papers, should always be delegated, leaving you free to tackle the more sensitive tasks for the day.

3.       Am I capable of completing this task? This question encompasses the need to gather supplies or  equipment, recruit extra hands or brains, and identify weaknesses in your skills and ability to successfully complete a task before you get started. Gathering supplies, a creative team, or instituting the necessary training before tackling a task ensures that your total work time from start to finish is as streamlined as possible.

4.       Do I understand the task and its requirements? Nothing can kill your productivity faster than getting halfway through a task and then realizing that you misunderstood a crucial detail or don’t know what comes next in the process. Knowing and understanding what your job will be in completing a particular task is crucial to managing your time effectively.

These four questions will help you prepare, prioritize, and complete your daily tasks at home and at work with greater efficiency. Saving time lets you free up space for increased productivity and a little more time for yourself. By streamlining your productivity, you enrich your life both at work and at home.

Jamie Simmerman is a registered nurse and freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter

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