There’s a misconception that being busy means you’re being productive. Going from task to task in a robotic fashion may be keeping you occupied but it won’t rate you high on the productivity scale. If you were to evaluate your day you’d probably find that a large portion of your time had been spent on menial tasks. This is why we need to collectively rethink how we approach our daily workload.
With the arrival of a New Year, now is the perfect time to plan ahead! If you’re not back at work yet and still enjoying some down time, take a look at these quick tips to help you and your business get ahead in 2015.
For those who missed Part One take a look here.
Check your inbox at the start of the day.
You might read this and think this is counterproductive, but before you scroll down let me explain.
Start your day with your inbox – now I don’t mean spending the next two hours bogged down in emails and dealing with the ongoing back log. Instead when you first come in deal with the most important, delete the junk and send a few short replies. Even if a response ends up being ‘I’ll get back to you’ you’ve dealt with someone rather than leaving them hanging.
Now when you do go to properly start your day, you can sit down at your desk with no inbox to distract you from the first task in hand.
with your time. While planning your day, week or month is a great way to ensure that key tasks get complete, it is by no means a rigid structure you must stick to.
We all know that with each schedule comes numerous hurdles you just can’t plan for. Sometimes meetings run over, unexpected problems arise or you might simply be on a roll working through a particular project or piece. This is why it’s important to know when to re-adjust your schedule and when to stick firmly to your allotted slots.
Ask yourself, is putting off my next task and continuing what I’m doing a productive decision, or am I just procrastinating?
Turn key tasks into habits.
Sometime when you have to do a lot of one thing it can become a chore, something we can easily justify putting off. Depending on your profession, your key tasks will vary. Whether you have admin duties, writing, or designing to do turning these tasks into habits will change the way you perceive them. If you set up a routine whereby you approach this task everyday/week at a certain time, such as first thing in the morning or after lunch then soon enough you’ll find you rarely skip it as it will start to become a habit.
End your day the right way.
I mentioned in my last post about routines, creating a closing one is just as important. Many people continue to stress over work long after they have finished for the day. One of the best ways to lead a more productive day is to spend time winding down away from the workplace both physically and more importantly mentally. Don’t just rush out the door at 5pm, end your day by getting organised for tomorrow. Make a list of tasks, reply to a couple emails, straighten your desk and leave work feeling prepared for the next day.
Work in blocks.
If you’ve ever sat down to work on a project with the intention ‘I’ll work until it’s done’ and looked up to realise half your day has gone by with a minimal outcome, then this is a tip for you.
Try working on a project for a set amount of time. Start by setting yourself a limit that suits you (although I’d suggest no more than a few hours) the time constraint will hopefully push you to focus more. So even if you do have to return to it a little later, you’ll still have done more in a lot less time!
Managing your time isn’t about trying to do the impossible and squeeze every task into your day. It’s about simplifying how you approach your workload and day.
If you enjoyed this post or found it useful 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!