We all wish we had more time but instead of wishing we had more time why don’t we just manage our day better.
Productivity is all about being efficient and doing more. The demands from today’s anytime, anywhere workplace have everyone working longer hours.
We can all be poor at multitasking, so managing time is critical to improving productivity. We waste so much time on unexpected tasks, which divert us from the tasks we have already started and planned in. Plan out your day and compartmentalise unexpected interruptions:
- Structure time:Go through emails and social media updates that the beginning of the day and prioritise these. Deal with them using quick responses and referrals, so other people can start working on tasks. Schedule the bigger tasks.
- Leave at a specific time: By setting yourself a deadline it gives you a sense of urgency to complete the tasks and allows you to be more productive.
- Set agendas for meetings: This allows you to focus on the topics and not get drawn into a long overrun meeting.
- Have regular breaks: Taking breaks allows your mind to rest and refocus. Running from back-to-back meetings is not productive, because you get tired and lose focus.
- Work from home: When you some quite time to concentrate on a task the office might not always be the best place. Some companies are finding that letting employees work from home has other advantages including reduced commute time, shorter lunch times and fewer sick days.
- Consolidate your social accounts: Hoot suite is a great way to schedule tweets, manage posts and keep track of your social accounts.
- Switch off popup notifications: Don’t let applications interrupt your concentration with annoying popup messages on your desktop or mobile device. Shut them off. Now! Limit checking your emails and try to do this at set times during the day.
- Be direct: Pick up the phone or walk down the hall and talk directly to colleagues. For geographically remote folks, use chat. Do not be a desk slave, sometimes you can get the answer quicker and resolve queries by speaking with the person directly. The amount of time wasted perpetuating endless email threads is mind-blowing.
- Keep things bite size: This will reduce the feeling of overload and the procrastination associated with taking on big jobs. Reduce the task down into smaller tasks and delegate if required so you can put all the pieces together and get it done easily.
- Use checklists: Particularly when you are overworked or are operating under time constraints, checklists keep you on track. Set a task list of your daily tasks and what you need to achieve and remember to tick them off not cross them out!