Alright, so I’m a bit obsessed with time management and productivity, and I do get rather tetchy if I have a day where nothing gets done. But the upside of that is that I try out a lot of tips and strategies to try and pack more into my day, and as a result I know what does and doesn’t work. So today I’m sharing with you the easiest, most effective 20 things you can do to get more done everyday, and if you choose to do just a few of them I guarantee they’ll help improve your productivity!
Simple Steps That Really Work
My only caveat before starting this list is that consistency is KEY … so if you really want to get more done, and improve the way you work, you must turn these strategies into habits and apply them consistently – then you’ll reap the best results! So here goes…
- Plan: Always, without fail, have a plan for your day – this improves focus and therefore productivity.
- Night Before: Write out your plan the night before so that you can start your day productively rather than wasting time wondering what to do when you get to work in the morning
- Goals: Make sure you know what you’re aiming to achieve before you start working on anything and set goals that you are personally motivated as this helps to improve focus
- Be Specific: Drill down into every task you do and leave no room for ambiguity – vagueness wastes time as you can end up working on the wrong stuff
- Energy: Work with your energy levels and plan your day around when you do your best work, leaving the easy and routine tasks for when you’re flagging!
- Quit Email: Turn your email alert OFF and only check your messages at set intervals during the day – avoid the temptation and habit of continual checking, it’s unproductive
- Batch: Lump similar routine tasks together and do them at the same time rather than sporadically throughout the day or week – this helps cut down on distractions
- Schedule: Use your diary for more than actual meetings – schedule blocks of time in to focus on specific tasks and commit to your schedule
- Timer: Be realistic with how much time you need to do something and then set the timer on your mobile so that you are forced to focus on the task at hand, without distraction
- Phone: Stop sending multiple emails when a phone call could sort things out more quickly and effectively
- Mobile Off: Don’t jump to everyone else’s sense of urgency – answer your phone when you have time and NOT in the middle of an important task
- Tolerations: If something’s frustrating you i.e. inbox full, filing not done etc get on top of those tasks that you’re tolerating as they take up ‘attentional capacity’ and slow you down
- Say No: Push back, delegate, and know your boundaries – being a ‘Yes’ person doesn’t help productivity and can also damage your personal branding in the work place
- Turn Off: Most distractions are self-initiated and can waste up to 2 hours per day of your precious time so turn off social media and divert your phone to voicemail whenever possible
- Important: Focus on tasks that are important, rather than being dictated to by urgency (read ‘The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey). Urgent doesn’t always mean important!
- Time Fillers: Be honest with yourself about what you do to procrastinate, and then schedule time in your diary to do those tasks as a ‘treat’ i.e. reading on-line newspapers, filing emails, checking Facebook etc
- Stop Multitasking: It does NOTHING other than slow you down and make you LESS productive so focus on one task at a time
- Get Organised: Working in a messy, unorganised environment never helped anyone so make sure you sort out your desk and maintain a clean and organised work space
- Unsubscribe: Deleting takes time, and it’s annoying, so start unsubscribing to newsletters that you don’t read regularly – you can always sign up again if you really do miss them!
- Agenda: If you have to spend time in a meeting make sure there is ALWAYS an agenda, stay on track, and finish on time
What do you do that helps you save time or get more done? I’d love to hear your ideas – please post a comment below!
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
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You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email email@example.com