Time Management Tips to Help Increase Productivity
Have you ever felt there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Or maybe there aren’t enough days in the week? There are a lot of time management tools out there that can help you stay on track, but you’re still responsible for organizing your day. And that’s not always easy. Here are a few pointers that might help you maximize your time and work more efficiently.
Look for lost time. Think about your daily routine – the part you don’t include on your daily calendar. Do you spend time at the water cooler talking about daily news or weekend plans? Do you find yourself engaging in personal emails and phone calls throughout the day? Do you spend time surfing the Internet or playing online games? If you can find one hour a day where you can cut back on personal activities, you can increase your productivity by five hours or more, depending on the number of days in your work-week.
Organize your “to do” list. Prioritize the items on your list of things to do based on what’s most important. Consider assigning a deadline to each task or a limit on how much time you’ll spend on a task with a later deadline so that you don’t let it keep you from moving on to a task with a higher priority. You may even want to assign “big” projects for the time of day when you find yourself most productive. If you’re not a morning person, don’t force too much on yourself at the start of the day.
Don’t over-extend yourself. It’s never easy to ask for help. But if you have an opportunity to delegate a smaller task to someone, do. Focus on the things that require your attention and try not to take on too much.
Remove distractions. Organize your office in a way that removes things that sometimes catch your eye or make your mind wander. If your productivity is affected by how comfortable you are, and you find yourself cold when others are hot or hot when others are cold, hide a desktop fan and a blanket in a drawer so you can eliminate the distraction. If personal pictures have you daydreaming about friends and family, put them somewhere out of view. Or if the street noise or skyline catches your attention, close your blinds when it’s time to work.
Get some rest. There are a lot of studies out there that tell you a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast is the best way to start your day. It’s true. If you’re having a hard time drifting off to sleep, you may need a way to power down. A noise canceling machine helps some, reading a book before bed works for others. Relax, you deserve it!
Everyone struggles with time management. If you can find a way to start each day refreshed, keep an eye on your time, and prioritize and delegate your daily tasks, even the unexpected won’t slow you down.