By employing these simple techniques, you’ll be able to foster greater productivity and a more satisfying work-life balance.
- Identify Your Top Three Priorities — You will undoubtedly have multiple responsibilities to accomplish throughout the day, and it can be difficult to organize them all. By recognizing your three most important tasks at the beginning of each day, you can assure that, while you might not accomplish every single assignment, your most important priorities will be completed.
- Make Appointments With Yourself (and Keep Them!) — Just like you would make an appointment with a client or coworker, reserve a block of time to work on important tasks and projects. If you know an assignment is going to take three hours, put it on your calendar or planner. You’ll thank yourself later!
- Clear Your Clutter — A disordered desk can be mentally distracting and emotionally draining. To eliminate the mess, start at the outer edges of your desk. There you’ll find items that have been pushed aside to make room for items of more importance. Most likely, you’ll discover unimportant items that you can get rid of. It’s as simple as letting go of what you don’t need.
- Use a Master List — Think of it as a to-do list on steroids. A master list contains all your tasks for the foreseeable future organized by must-dos, would-like-to-dos, and want-to-dos. Schedule time for each task and review your list everyday, checking off completed tasks and adding new ones.
- Spend 10% of Your Day in Proactive Mode — In an eight-hour workday, you should take about 45 minutes in the morning to start your day proactively. This includes things like learning, planning, setting goals, and working ahead of deadlines.
- Beat Procrastination — Most of us are well versed in the art of procrastination. One way to get past this productivity obstacle is to set aside 20 minutes each day to work on something that isn’t due for a few weeks. Strive to work ahead of your deadlines. You’ll be thankful you did when those due dates roll around.
- Write Your Goals Down and Review Them Every Day — Make sure your actions are impacting and reinforcing your goals. This will help you keep the big picture in mind.
- Choose the Right Time Management System for You — Staying organized is the key to productivity. When choosing a time management system, consider these questions: Is it portable? Can you back it up? Does it allow you to manage your contacts easily? Can you share it? There are numerous time management systems available. Take the time to find one that fits your lifestyle.
- Diagnose Your Time — Experts recommend keeping a time log for three days to assess how your time is spent. As you begin each new task throughout your day, record it on your time log. As you transition from task to task, keep filling out your time log as you go. This will show what you did and how long you spent doing it. After your three days, evaluate how your time is spent. Did you make good use of your time throughout each day?