Do you feel under pressure to get more done? Our lives can be busy, especially at this time of year when we’re trying to finish tasks before we head off on holiday. Sometimes it can feel as though we never complete all the tasks that we set out to do each day. This can often be because we’re setting ourselves unrealistic deadlines. Or perhaps we’re allowing ourselves to be distracted from the tasks at hand. Whatever the reason for your inability to get everything done as anticipated, the following tips should help you to get more done, if not everything:
Start work as soon as possible
Often we arrive at work in the morning but it can be at least half an hour before we actually start working. This can be due to chatting to colleagues, checking our Social Media or procrastination. If we get into the habit of thinking about the day ahead on our journey into work, mentally acknowledging what we need to do, we are more likely to get straight to work, as we will have primed our brains into action.
You don’t have to do the most difficult task first, sometimes in order to get more done, you need to grow into the day, so choose some easier tasks to do first, to help you gain some momentum for the day.
Anticipate what lies ahead
Pick one task and think about the next actions you must take. When we think ahead, we’re already making a start on tasks. If we know we have a meeting to arrange, we can be thinking about who we need to invite. What items need to be on the agenda. What venue or room will be best? When we actually start to arrange the meeting, it won’t take long, as we already know what we need to do.
Find a method of keeping track of tasks that works for you
Sometimes we don’t get as much done as we hoped because we’re not sure of the tasks that need doing, what has been completed and what needs finishing. By developing a method of monitoring tasks that works for us, we’ll know exactly where we are, thus saving time. Methods can include online task management systems, online calendar tasks, writing on a whiteboard/flipchart or simply writing a list in a notebook. The key is to find a system that works for you and keep it up to date.
Don’t make yourself constantly available
If you are constantly being disturbed by colleagues wanting “a word”, or if you’re the kind of person that is always being asked to help with IT issues, printer problems or disgruntled customers, it is going to disrupt your productivity. It’s good to be helpful but not at the expense of our own deadlines and tasks. Get more done by allow yourself uninterrupted work time. Close your office door or find a quiet area to work in, whilst you concentrate on that important task. Just make sure that you communicate to colleagues that you’re unavailable for the next few hours.
Keep meetings brief
If you’re organising a meeting, ensure there is an agenda, only invite people that need to be there and try to keep the discussion on track. When you’re invited to a meeting, ensure that you definitely need to be there. If your input isn’t vital, decline the meeting request, this will avoid wasting everyone’s time.
Give yourself a reward
When you’ve completed a big project or series of tasks, reward yourself. Incentivising tasks, can help with productivity.
These tips should help to boost your productivity, ensuring that you get more done each day. You will thenbe able to relax when you’re away from the office. Managing our time is key to managing our lives.
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor