Want to be more productive?
We all make resolutions at the beginning of the year and by February or March we no longer feel they are important. Instead of making too many resolutions that may take too long to accomplish, start with these time-saving tips:
Plan your day ahead and stick to it. If you have try planning out your day and anticipate the possible roadblocks, you will find that you are better prepared to tackle challenges and deflect issues with more ease. This will help ensure you will have a more productive day.
Break down your large plans into more manageable milestones. Try to achieve something worthwhile every day. If you plan out your goals and set schedules and timelines, you have more motivation not to slack off or procrastinate.
Start your day by tackling first the more difficult and the time-consuming tasks. This is the time where you still have full energy to go through everything before gradually moving on to easier ones.
Learn to best deal with interruptions in a decisive and assertive manner. Do not allow the trivial concerns of others distract you from your purpose. This does not necessarily mean you need to be rude and offensive. Instead, learn to be firm and prioritize important things instead of constantly ending up accommodating other people’s concerns.
Stop procrastinating. Train yourself to avoid wasting time worrying or dawdling, which only decreases your productivity. Remember, time is money. If you are constantly paralyzed with worry, schedule your ‘worry time’ at the end of each day so you can stay focused to tackle outstanding work and more important concerns.
Manage your clutter. Make sure everything is in its proper place, this will save you time from constantly searching for misplaced items. A tidy desk can significantly help enhance productivity.
Stick to your priorities. Don’t get into the habit of cancelling or putting off things you can accomplish today. While one might say, you still have enough time tomorrow, it’s another day to face with a whole new set of challenges.
Take on high-profile projects. If you are constantly working on the sidelines, doing less important things, your accomplishments will certainly not make you a star, nor will it take you far. Instead, try to volunteer for bigger projects, the very ones that will carve your name and bring recognition to the company. If you have the expertise and confidence but there is a lack of worthwhile projects, consider coming up with your own. If you do well, these large and high-profile projects can make a huge impact on your career and life. These are the accomplishments that can enhance your portfolio.
Carefully organize your files and desk. While they say creative minds can make sense of their own chaos, it can also add to stress and hamper your productivity. Label your folders accordingly and throw out papers and documents that can be discarded.
Tidy your to-do list. If your to-do list is about a mile long, go through each one and determine which ones are unnecessary. Develop the habit of eliminating unnecessary stuff and learn to simplify your life.
Get rid of distractions. Eliminate all the unnecessary distractions such as IM and email alerts, Twitter and other social networking sites. In fact, if possible, you should consider turning off the Internet. You can also wear headphones so you will not be distracted with regular office noise.
Keep meetings to 30 minutes or less. One of the most common and biggest time-wasters is meetings that could be easily accomplished with a phone call or an email. If possible, beg out of meetings, or if you call the shots, eliminate them if it’s not critically important.
Only try to check your email once or twice a day. Avoid constantly going through your emails all throughout the day. Allocate a time to go through your mail at the start of your day and check back an hour before you leave. If you keep on sending unimportant emails, you are creating major distractions to recipients and affecting the productivity of everyone, including yourself.
It takes time to make something a habit, but if you practice these skills daily they will become a natural habit and you will not only save time this year, but you will increase your productivity – both at home and work.