Looking to increase your productivity? Of course, we all are looking to get the most out of each day. In today’s world, we are busier than we have ever been before. While we have more technology tools that streamline our lives, we seem to have more and more to do and less time to do. Productivity is the combination of intelligent planning and focused efforts. Here are 10 tips offered to help you manage your time, some of which are common sense, others that you could put your day on the right track this minute.
1. Make a Daily Plan. Spend the first 10 minutes of your work day to figure out what you want to achieve. Use the early part of the day to complete stuff that requires greater mental focus. The plan gives you a good overview of pending jobs, pressing problems, and deadlines. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your task is to stick to the plan as best as possible.
2. Stay Focused. Are you multi-tasking so much that you are killing your productivity? If so, focus on just one key task at a time. Try to eliminate any background distractions. Focus solely on what you doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.
3. Use an Organizer. Carry a schedule and record all you activities, meetings, and events. This will help you understand how to get the most out of your day. The organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do-lists, projects and other miscellaneous items.
4. Plan to be Early. When you target to be on time, in many cases, you’ll be late. However, if you plant to be early, you’ll most likely be on time. For appointments, strive to be early.
5. Learn to say “No”. Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done. Or defer it to a later period.
6. Set Reminders. Most calendars like Outlook have a reminder function for an upcoming meeting. If you have an important meeting to attend, set the alarm 15 minutes before.
7. Block out Distractions. What is your biggest distraction at work: Instant messenger? Phone ringing? Text messages coming in? When you are doing important work, try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. This will help you concentrate better.
8. Batch Related Tasks Together. For related work, streamline your schedule by batching similar tasks. For example, you can group tasks into categories such core work, meetings, administrative, emails, business development, and marketing etc.
9. Prioritize. Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important. Put first things first. Apply the 80/20 rule which is a key principle in prioritizing tasks.
10. Leave In-Between Time. Don’t pack everything so closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute window in between each task. This helps you wrap up a project and shift focus to the next one.