Understand How You are Spending Your Time
You want to track how you are spending your time. Without knowing how you are spending your time, you won’t know how productive you’re being. You need to figure out what your output is over a specific period. As you do when you create a budget, you’ll want to create a budget for your time. This will help you figure out if you need to make adjustments and where you should be making them.
- You want to start by using a time check calculator. You can leverage these time tracking tools like Tracktime24. This will give you plenty of information that you can use to figure out how productive you are. You will see what you are spending the most time on and where you need to make adjustments. This can help you figure out if you are wasting a lot of your time on something like browsing social media where you can cut it out easily.
Stick to a Schedule
Sticking to a specific daily schedule is a good way to maximize your productivity. If you don’t have a schedule that you are following, you will find it more difficult to stay on task. You want to go beyond figuring out what you need to do. Instead, you want to plan out when you are going to do it. Come up with time blocks that you will be used for specific tasks. This can help you stick to something that is well planned and properly mapped out. If you don’t, you’ll likely find yourself jumping from one thing to the next without knowing how to maximize your time in the process. Always schedule breaks into your daily routine to avoid burnout. A break tracker will help you ensure that you are taking breaks and keeping your mind sharp.
Create Realistic Timelines
One of the issues, when people start to map out their day, is they don’t look at things with realistic targets. A lot of people tend to overestimate how quickly they can finish things. This is typically referred to as the “planning fallacy.” This usually has people overly optimistic about their performance and delivery estimates. Because of this, you want to fall into the trap of not giving yourself enough time for each task. Try to add some buffer time so you know you’ll finish it within the allotted period.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Another problem a lot of people end up running into is not focusing properly. You need to focus on one thing at a time. You want to give things your full attention as much as possible. Try to avoid wasting any time when you are working. A lot of people tend to go to other sites, read news articles, or add a lot of other time-wasting activities into their day. You want to try to focus on your work-related task and that task only. You can add focus mode to your browser to ensure you are bouncing around. You can even remove your phone from your desk and put it out of sight. This can help you resist the temptation to start browsing your phone and wasting time.
When you are looking to maximize your efficiency, one of the best things you can do is to prioritize your tasks. You want to ensure you are doing things in the proper order. If you start to prioritize, you’ll be doing things that need to get done first. While a to-do list can help you improve your productivity, it can also overwhelm you. This is why you need to ensure you are prioritizing things when you are trying to cross things off your list. There is a tool known as the “Eisenhower Matrix.” This tool will help you figure out what needs to get prioritized and what can be put off.
- Do immediately: These will be the tasks that are most important and that have specific deadlines. These can also be tasks you’ve been continually putting off.
- Schedule For Later: These are the tasks that you are going to be able to do later because they don’t have a deadline.
- Delegate: These are tasks you can assign to someone else.
- Delete: These are the tasks that you can completely disregard because they are unimportant.
Go for the Most Difficult Task First
You want to try to tackle the most difficult task first. This is the best way to approach things because this is the task you will usually look to put off the most. Just get it over with. There is a saying that it’s, “time to eat that frog.”
The Eat That Frog is a method that is devised by a leadership expert Brian Tracy. It’s a method that is excellent for those that suffer from procrastination. This can be a good option for those that deal with distractions too. This method has you tackling the biggest and most significant task first thing in the morning. That way, you can “eat that frog” and move on to other tasks you need to accomplish.
This is another good way to get your productivity levels up. Batch processing is where you group various similar tasks. That way, you can work on them in batches.
- You schedule client meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.
- You respond to emails in the morning from 10 to 11 am.
- You focus on generating reports in the morning and then you distribute them.
Set Reasonable Time Limits
When you have a lot of time on your hands and you have minimal tasks that need to get done. You are going to tend to work slower because of it. By shrinking your window to get things done, you will get more done. Don’t allow yourself to only complete two tasks in a day because you had a whole day to get them done. Shrink your windows and watch your productivity skyrocket.
Don’t be afraid to say no when needed. You don’t want to take everything on your plate. You have limits and you need to be aware of them. You know your strengths and you know your weaknesses. Try to focus on doing the things you are good at and hand off the tasks you struggle with to someone else.
Next you can read about Business Process Automation Checklist: Do You Need It?