So much more can be accomplished when you use your time efficiently. I’ll skip the part in which I’ll list all the benefits of time management, because I’m pretty sure you know them, and I don’t want to waste your time. Here’s the list of 21 tips that will hopefully help you boost your productivity and accomplish more daily.
- Wake up Early
The earlier you rise; the more work you’ll get done at the end of the day. Also, it is said that we are the most productive during the first hours of the day (somewhere between 4 and 7 am). Waking up early will also affect the quality of your sleep, which is also tightly related with productivity (check the 21st tip).
- Plan Daily
Start the day knowing what are the major tasks that should be tackled. Have a plan and stick to it. That will help you consider how many tasks can be accomplished daily and how much time each task needs to be accomplished.
When it comes to work and productivity, don’t go with the flow. Know what you are expected to deliver, and organize what should be delivered. That will not only save you time but also frustration. Put everything in its rightful place and you won’t have to spend hours looking for it!
- Don’t seek perfection
Don’t get me wrong; I do consider perfectionism a good thing. And you are expected to deliver good quality work. But, if going into the minimal details is going to stand in the way of your progress and delay your work, I suggest you reconsider how perfect you want the end product to be. Ignore the little details and focus on getting the job done. That way, if you still have time, you can always come back and improve these tiny details that you’re not yet fully satisfied with. Keep in mind that “Done is better than perfect.” –Sheryl Sandberg
- Divide and Conquer
Don’t you just feel so overwhelmed with work sometimes that you don’t even know where to start? I do too. Here is when dividing a huge task into smaller parts will be to your benefit. Estimate the time needed for each job to be accomplished and the order in which your tasks should be done. Sitting there and staring at our unfinished work won’t lead us anywhere. And remember, the hardest part is to start but once you’re in, you’re in.
It would be ideal if we could do everything we wanted whenever we wanted. But let’s be real, that can’t be the case. Focus then on what should be done rather than on what could be done if you had more time. You don’t want to waste your time on secondary tasks, and end up with the most important ones half-finished.
- Set Deadlines
Set your own deadlines, for each and every task. No matter how small it is. This might be one of the easiest tips, yet one of the most effective.
- Finish what you’ve started
Don’t leave your work half-finished and move to the next task. First of all, you might end up with a bunch of unfinished jobs, where none of them is good enough. Second, going back to a task that you’ve already started, will take you more time than if you worked on it uninterruptedly. Nonetheless, if you realize that you’re stuck and incapable of progressing no matter what you try, move on. Know depending on the situation whether you should switch things on your planner or not.
- Set Reminders
One of the biggest lie you might tell yourself: “I’ll remember that.” I really hope you do will, but just to be on the safe side, set reminders.
- Block Distractions
You were just looking up what harum-scarum* means and ended up 10 days deep in your Facebook feeds. I know it because we’ve all been there. That’s why prior to starting your work, block all sorts of distractions. And while you’re working, try as much as possible to resist the temptation of checking for just a minute (or so you say) your social media accounts.
*Harum-scarum (adj.): reckless; irresponsible
- Stop Procrastinating
I don’t know who really said: “The trouble is, you think you have time.” Whoever it is, his/her point is clear enough. Just start now.
- Know when to Multi-task
Multi-tasking is not always the right thing to do. When you multi-task, you’re not actually multi-tasking. You’re basically switching between tasks. That can slow you down and lower your productivity. You are also apt to do more mistakes than when your brain focuses on each task alone. However, when it comes to automatic behaviors, multi-tasking can save you time. Tasks that don’t need your focus and attention, and tasks that are mechanically done can be dealt with simultaneously. One example would be doing household chores while watching a TV show. Also, limit your tasks to two at a time.
- Apply the Pomodoro Technique
This technique consists of dividing your work into timed sequences. Start by picking a task and set the timer to 25 minutes. After that, take a 5 minute break. After repeating that 4 times, reward yourself with a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. Then again, repeat the same cycle and get stuff done!
- Keep your eyes on the clock
You should always keep track of time. Know how much time each task is taking you, where does your progress stand, and whether or not you should change your rhythm.
- Ask for help when needed
We don’t know everything, and that’s okay as long as we’re learning. The issue is that we can waste sometimes half a day trying to learn and discover something by ourselves, when it could have taken less than 10 minutes if we asked the right person. Relying on others constantly is not a valuable quality, and I am not by any means encouraging you to do that. However, nothing is wrong in admitting once in a while that we might need some assistance.
- Take a Break
If you’re capable of working non-stop for hours that’s great! Really. Just don’t be too harsh on yourself; your brain and body need a break. You don’t have to take a 5 hour long break, 30 minutes can be quite enough.
- Cross out things on your To-Do List
Crossing things out your To-Do List (literally) motivates you. It gives you the feeling that you’re getting work done, and that you’ve almost completed your tasks. And of course, that implies you having a To-Do List set from the start.
- Use the “two-minutes Rule”
This concept apparently comes from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done. If a task can be achieved in two minutes or less, do it immediately. If you put it aside, it will take you more time worrying about it and planning to do it, than completing it on the spot.
That goes with the idea of being organized. Remove everything you don’t need prior to starting your work. All these stuff on your desk can be a source of distraction. Also, the less non-work related items in front of you, the less time wasted looking for what you actually need.
- Exploit your “in the zone”
We all have some days in which we are way more productive than usual. When you find yourself in the zone, make sure to complete as many tasks as possible. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Sleep well
If you haven’t slept enough last night, you won’t be able to focus on your work properly. Also, your productivity will be clearly affected. Each task will take you more time as well as more effort to be accomplished. Read more about the benefits of sleeping in 7 Healthy Habits You Should Start Doing Now.
Here comes the end of this post. I really hope that you found it helpful, and maybe worth a share? Also, if you know any time management tips that you’d like to share with us, feel free to do so in the comment section below.
Have a nice (and hopefully productive) day! 🙂