There is something peculiar with time – there never seems to be enough of it. As a result, quite a lot of people spend their days racing against time. They are always looking for the best ways to squeeze everything in– their families, jobs, chores, friends, and sleep among other things - into the 24 hour phenomenon called a day.
Interestingly, the most successful people still seem to have a hold of their time. They seem to get more done in a day than most of us can get done in a week. The biggest question is how do the people who have so much to do manage to get so much done in one day? What are their secrets to productivity that we can emulate?
Technology can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you choose to use it. While social media is good for catching up with friends, it can also seriously devour your productivity. But, by using the same technology, you can get more done by using time management tools that help you improve your time management skills. Thanks to the tools, you can block unimportant sites or make it easier to perform tasks that traditionally took longer to achieve.
For example, if you are the easily distracted kind, you can use the app Leechblock . This app is an add-on that prevents you from wasting your time by way of limiting your use of time-wasting websites. Using Leechblock you can block yourself from accessing social media, email or your other favorite sites when working on your computer.
Always start off your day with your biggest task
It is very important to have a morning routine that sets you up for success every day. One of the best strategies you can put into action is making the best use of the first few hours of the work day.
For example Lynn Taylor, the author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant and a national workplace expert says “Having a good start to the day where you have greater control is critical in achieving better results, and ultimately, greater career success.”
According to Lynn, the way you choose to begin every morning will “set the tone and attitude” of your day. What you do each morning can either direct or derail your focus. Develop and commit to good morning habits – you won’t feel distracted or unproductive at the end of the day.
Schedule out every day
It is harder to find the optimal schedule for your workday than you might think. What many people don’t understand is that each day is a constant balancing act between different demands and your energy level. There are meetings you have to attend, emails you have to send, and a host of other tasks that may adversely affect your overall day's productivity.
Sometimes it gets rather murky. There are times when you have complete freedom to set your hours. At other times, you find yourself forced into a stricter schedule. Also, while you could achieve much in your early hours, other people you need to partner and interact with to complete tasks might find working at night more productive.
There's no one perfect formula. It’s all about what works best for the individual. In fact, the most productive people that the world has ever known use wildly different scheduling techniques. The techniques each have used depends much on their personalities, the task at hand, their circumstances and even their personalities.
A good example is the politician Winston Churchill who broke up his day with dedicated naps and frequent whiskey and worked late into the night.
If you are a parent with an 8 – 5 grind, you need to create a solid routine that favors you. For example, you might be likely to get more done by scheduling out every hour of your day, and ensuring that everything has its place in the schedule.
Keep your working space clean
Do you have a habit of keeping your desk messy? If you find yourself returning more clutter than you remember leaving, then that could be impeding your ability to get work done. In my opinion, cleanliness equals productivity and a messy workspace equals unproductivity.
While you could give a lot of excuses, keeping tidy piles of things doesn’t mean you are organized in the classic sense. It could limit your space to do work and you could get very little done. Or…even perhaps, none, at the end of the day.
For instance, for you to get enough time in your day, you may decide to have a clean start every morning. You can tidy the room and make your bed before you leave. Having an orderly place to return after a tiresome day in work will help keep you productive and focused throughout the day. It’s akin to having a personal sanctuary that keeps rejuvenating you better when you return from work.
Sometimes, it gets hard to kick procrastination to the curb. Even the most productive people may find themselves fighting the menace off at times. Procrastination slows you down, killing your productivity.
The challenge is, when you have a lot on your plate, you can afford to push something to the side. However, by pushing it the side, it only means that particular task will get lost in the mix. And, if you were running a project, it means that mishaps will occur that won’t be sorted out before the work is due.
To keep productive, you have to find ways of slaying that dragon of procrastination.
Make an adjustable schedule
Sometimes, you might need to add or remove a number of tasks to your schedule. So, when you are developing your schedule, you need to leave a buffer-time between tasks. Again, it becomes more difficult to stay focused when you’re forced to move from task to task.
For example, there are people who have a huge whiteboard in their offices (others prefer DIY message boards) that they keep a running list on. That way, it becomes easier to re-arrange the order of priority of execution of each of the task. Besides, it helps keep you organized and on-task.
Summing it up
Whether you are an entrepreneur, a CEO, an employee, or perhaps, a stay-at-home parent, time is of the essence. You should take the time to place different strategies into action that will help you manage your time and increase your productivity.
About the Author: Kritika Pandey is working as Software Analyst Executive at SoftwareSuggest she prioritizes her work and like to plan and organize accordingly. She have good analytical skills and a proficiency with digital marketing tools. She also blogs about Project Management, BPM, and latest software updates. You can connect with Kritika via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.