It can be helpful to think about there being two aspects to the task: (a) how urgent is it? (b) how important is it? By considering these two factors you can assign a level of priority to the task.
It is much easier to manage your work if you have a plan to work to. Simple effective planning tools can be:
Divide larger tasks into smaller blocks so you can gauge your progress through the task. Allow time for planning and reviewing your work.
Allow extra time for when things do not run according to plan but do not use this as an excuse to allow things to run late. If there are known risks such as the arrival of vital equipment/information then make a note to allow time to cope with the problem.
Review your work regularly to check that it is running according to your plan.
If the plan is not working properly take some time to correct your estimates. The earlier you spot potential difficulties the more chance you have of overcoming them.
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