It’s very rare that the festive period won’t interrupt your regular work flow. While some people fully embrace the opportunity to switch off and wind down, we understand that for many business owners it isn’t always that easy. For those who are itching to get back to work as soon as the first person starts nodding off in front of the TV, I’m here to say that this is not the answer. Use this festive period to take some down time, reassess your work day and come back raring to go in 2015.
We want to share with you a few helpful tips in how to work smarter not harder this coming New Year. You can even count this as your work for today… we won’t tell anyone.
Focus on the present day.
In a past post I discussed the perks of a to-do list/tasks list, we all love them, they help us structure our days, allow us to thought dump so we can focus on what’s in hand, and at the end of the day when your list is fully ticked off are great for instilling that strong sense of achievement.
Here’s how to take your list one step further, either favourite certain tasks or completely separate your ‘today list’ from the main one. A large list of todo’s can be overwhelming for anyone and while it’s important to write each thing down to prevent any creeping anxiety, you don’t want to clutter your mind or list with extras. By separating today’s tasks you will stay focused and productive.
Measure your results, not your time.
The idea for this blog post stems from this very problem, many people believe that by putting in more hours they’ll get more done, which we all is not always the case. What we want to achieve is being more productive in less time!
To do this we need to adjust the way we measure our productivity. Instead of looking at the clock, we need to start focusing on the results. Not only will seeing your own results spur you on to the next task, but by disconnecting from the clock you’ll focus more on the task in hand and hopefully your productivity levels will soar!
Create your own morning routine.
Most people will have a loose morning routine – making coffee, checking social media, tidying their desk or chatting to coworkers and while these aren’t bad ways to start your work day, if you dig a little further you’ll usually find they’re used as an avoidance technique. Getting started is a hurdle many people face, building a new routine which tells your brain and body it’s time to work is definitely a tip you should take with you into 2015!
Take an internet timeout.
I’m not suggesting going offline if you need to use the internet, but sometimes if you have a meeting to prep for, a document to amend, some paper work that just needs completing – breaking away from the internet helps. Gone are the email reminders binging in the background, instant messages popping up, or interesting articles that ‘won’t take too long to read’. Even if its only for 30 minutes to an hour, turn your out of office on so you can fully focus on one particular task. Not only will you find the job takes half the time but you’ll probably get something else finished too.
Work in short bursts.
We all know the power of a good break, whether thats a few days or just a few minutes. Taking some time away from work or the computer screen will refresh your mind, reset your attention span and refuel your energy levels. During the holiday period it can be hard to detach yourself mentally from what you’ve got coming up or tasks stacking up ready for your return. The important thing is to use this time away from the office to benefit your productivity. So if you really must touch a keyboard this holiday stick to a couple hours focused on a specific task.
My two favourite things.
I’m a firm believer that plenty of sleep and regular exercise is the best way to prepare your body for a work filled week. Not only will this lift your energy levels, but exercise is a great way to clear your mind – some of my best ideas have come during a run, rather than sat staring at a blank page! Managing your time isn’t about trying to do the impossible and squeeze every task into your day. It’s about simplifying how your manage and tackle your workload, while creating a comfortable work/life balance in the process.
If you enjoyed this post check back on the 2nd of January for Part Two of this series and if you found it useful or have any of your own tips make sure to comment below or tweet us at @GetSimplifyd to join the conversation.
Also if you haven’t already, sign up today for your free 30 day trial and make the choice to work smarter not harder this coming year!