All of us know people that are highly productive and can accomplish more in one hour than most people can do in an entire day. These aren’t workaholics either; some of the most productive people that I know seem to seamlessly integrate their professional and personal lives and can even find time for a hobby or two as well. What do they know that the rest of us don’t? How do they regularly get so much done? The big question for all of us is whether or not we’re maximizing our time and being as productive as possible?
Take a look at these three tips to see if you may be able to “fine-tune” your own habits for increased productivity:
Maintain a daily to-do list and prioritize it carefully
One of the most important things that you can do in order to be more productive is to create and maintain a prioritized to-do list. A to-do list will help you to focus and allocate the appropriate amount of time to things that are essential versus ones that don’t really matter. Filling your time and being busy is not the same as being productive and a prioritized to-do list will help you to effectively manage your time so that you can be more productive.
Delegate some of your work
While there may be some work that only you can do, you are probably spending time on tasks that can be easily delegated to someone else within your company or to an outside resource. Use your time to focus on things that are mission critical and outsource or delegate the other work and activities that are much less important to your bottom-line.
Take short breaks throughout the day
Working for three, four or more hours at a stretch doesn’t mean that you’re more productive and, in fact, is detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing. Set an alarm and for every hour at your desk, spend 5-10 minutes walking around, doing some light exercises or getting some fresh air. You’ll return to your desk mentally and physically recharged and able to do more.
Stop saying “yes”
Do you volunteer for every committee, extra job or new task that comes along and then find yourself running out of hours to get everything done? Do you feel like you’ve been “dumped on” only to realize that you offered to do this extra work? If so, just say “no” and stop being the “go-to” resource for just about everything especially if there is little or no acknowledgment or appreciation of your contribution.
You’ll find that you can do things more efficiently if you concentrate on one task at a time. Multi-tasking leads to mistakes and the time required to fix something that you’ve already done means that you are doing the same thing two or more times. Multi-tasking can also lead to extra stress, especially when you find a pile of half-finished projects on your desk at the end of the day.
Many people set a New Year’s resolution to “be more productive.” Why wait till January 1st when you can start now and start to reap the rewards of increased productivity?