Who doesn’t want to do more in the little time we have? Do you wonder why some people are able to achieve so much in the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that you have? This article provides some quick tips that you can implement right now and watch your productivity soar!
Google productivity and you’ll return more than 13 million results on websites, definitions, courses, apps, blogs, tips, techniques, podcasts, advice – there’s even an Australian Government department dedicated to productivity – it’s the Productivity Commission if you’re interested.
I’ve got a confession – I’m a recovering productivity addict – not sure if that’s actually a thing but it should be! Constantly beating myself up for wasting time, feeling like a slave to email, always being ‘crazy busy’ with not enough time in the day, and feeling guilty for not achieving every single thing on my overly ambitious ‘to do’ list was a regular part of my life. But not anymore, I’ve come to terms with the fact that whilst we think we need more time in our day, we don’t – we just need to make better use of our time and realise that sometimes everything just won’t get done!
Here’s a few of my simple tips that you can implement today to help increase your efficiency, improve your outputs, and gain back some control:
- Focus – on one thing at a time. This has literally transformed my life.
- Don’t answer your phone – if it’s important they’ll leave a message.
- Check your email intermittently – turn off email notifications and respond at a few set times throughout the day.
- Know when your energy peaks – then take advantage of those times by getting all the hard stuff done!
- Establish routines – then stick to them so you don’t waste time making decisions.
- Set up systems – establish rules and processes for everything you do on a regular basis.
- Say no – set realistic deadlines, try not to over commit, and don’t set yourself up for failure.
- Write a ‘to do’ list – write a list at the end of every day for the next day or first thing in the morning for the day ahead. Planning out your week on a Sunday night is also a great idea.
- Plan your day – try starting with the most important, biggest task, not the smallest and easiest.
- Schedule your time – diarise everything (electronic or paper, whatever suits) so you can see at a glance how much spare time you’ve got to work with (or not!).
- Avoid meetings – if you have to go, try to have one specific outcome in mind and make sure the other participants are also on board.
- Track time – for one or two days, then eliminate, delegate and consolidate – often we do things that may not be 100% necessary.
- Set time limits – this is great for large projects or tasks you procrastinate about. Break them into smaller chunks, set time limits, and just get it done.
- Use a timer – set it to go off at 30 minute intervals. Focus on one activity then take a short one minute break to refocus.
- Get up earlier – not a morning person? Try tiny increments by setting your alarm one minute early every day for a month. That adds up to half an hour within a month and one hour within two – sounds ridiculous but it works!
- Try a social media ban – you’ll be amazed at how much time you save.
- Unsubscribe – to all those pesky emails you waste time reading and scrolling through.
- Take breaks – after two hours try to break for at least 10 minutes. Walk around and get outside in the fresh air if you can.
- Define success – know what you’re trying to achieve – what does finished look like? How can you determine if you’ve been effective?
- Outsource – get help and have someone who is an expert in their field do whatever it is that you’re not good at!
- Declutter – your office, your home and your life.
Just do it! No matter how busy you are, you can always get more organised. Take some time to implement some (or all) of these tips and see if your productivity improves.
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