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How to Manage your Time when Everything is Urgent

I need this ASAP.

It’s urgent.

I actually needed this yesterday.


I’m sure you’ve received one or more of these notes in your professional career.


It seems like now, everything is urgent. So, if everything is really “urgent” how do you properly manage your time?


Here are a few tips to help you when everything is due ASAP.


Make a List.

It’s hard to manage your time, especially when everything has the same due date. The first thing you should do is make a list. Write down everything you have to get done and try to prioritize those items, so you can get the most important projects done first.

Once you understand everything you have to accomplish and the value of each item, you can start working through the list and crossing off the to-dos.


Ask for Help.

It’s OK to ask for help. If the day starts ticking away and you know you’re not going to get some of these urgent items done in time, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to pull in other team members - that’s the whole point of a team! It’s better to ask for help than at the end of the day have several urgent items lingering on your list.


Plan Ahead.

If you know it’s going to be a busy week, make sure you are prepared. Make a plan so you can go to work early, stay at the office during lunch or stick around past 5 p.m., to ensure everything gets done. If you are prepared to put in a few extra hours of work, then you won’t panic when you need more time to get things done. And remember, don’t stress, everything always gets done!


Set a Time Limit.

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. If you feel overwhelmed and you’re not sure where to start, set a timer for 15 minutes, pick something on your list and just start working. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.

Once the 15 minutes is up, you can move on to a different project or stick with what you’re working on, if you get in a groove.


This approach will help you make progress on several items, without getting stuck on one task.


The next time you receive an urgent email or project request, take a deep breath and follow these steps - everything will get done, ASAP.

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