You work hard each day but never seem to get enough done.
The day finishes leaving you exhausted. But you still have unchecked items on your to-do list.
You’ve tried scheduling, to-do lists and all the latest time management apps but . . .
They don’t work. Well not for you anyway.
You probably think that you’re not working hard enough or you need to work longer hours. You are worried you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
What if I told you by working smarter rather than harder you will actually get more done?
Being smarter often means thinking outside the box.
Try being a little creative with your productivity hacks.
You have probably been told that planning out your entire day in advance will help your productivity. Let me show you why this is not always true.
The first three hours of your day are usually the most productive. You are feeling fresh, energised and focused. This is the time to tackle your most important jobs.
Later in the day your energy levels and focus will start to fade. Why would you want to approach important tasks when you are running on empty?
You wouldn’t, in fact you would be crazy if you did.
Save your peak productivity time for important tasks. Other tasks such as emails, phone calls and paperwork still need doing but relegate them to later in the day.
Conventional wisdom dictates you get rid of distractions that interrupt your workflow. Social media, email and mobile phones are three of the biggest culprits. So ‘unplugging’ is excellent advice for keeping focus . . . or is it?
There is a reason we become distracted at work. We are ready for a break; in fact we are searching for distractions.
So be smart and schedule them. For every 40-50 minutes you work take just 5 minutes distraction time. Be careful though, 5 minutes can quickly spiral into 50.
Taking short breaks will keep you fresh and help you work quickly and efficiently. Schedule short breaks and preserve your focus for when you need it.
If you were at a public library you would expect to find virtual silence. Anyone using a library would probably agree that silence truly is golden. There is a reason for this.
People at the library are sharing the venue for just a short time. You and the people around you need to concentrate without distractions. But imagine having to be quiet the entire day.
No noise . . . nothing . . . nada.
It would drive you crazy.
Well I have news for you. Unless you work in a library you don’t have to work in silence.
Try listening to music when you are working. Block out the surrounding world and boost your productivity. A couple of words of advice though.
For repetitive tasks that don’t involve masses of concentration, just play your favourite tunes and pump up the volume. Shut out the world and get to work. Listening to some upbeat tunes will promote a positive mind frame and help you power through this type of work.
Don’t be fooled though. By listening to music you are multi-tasking.
If you need a degree of concentration then be a little choosier with your playlist. Some ambient music without lyrics will help block out the outside world without causing distraction.
Have you ever had a task that takes a lot longer than you imagined?
If you are like me then of course you have.
You have probably experienced issues sticking to your schedule. Overrunning time on one task means stealing time earmarked for your next.
When running behind on a task it’s not unusual to get a diminishing state of return for any extra time invested. The reason is you’re fatigued.
You need a break from the task.
My advice, don’t even try and finish. When your scheduled time runs out stop working, take a quick break and move on to the next task.
A change is as good as a rest as they say.
Reschedule more time for your unfinished task and come back refreshed. It will actually take less time to complete and won’t disrupt your schedule.
One size does not fit all.
Try boosting your productivity by thinking for yourself.
Listen to advice. Modify what you learn to suit you. Test your own ideas.
Don’t be afraid to stand apart from the crowd.
Give things a try and see if they work.
Be willing to do things your own way.
Achieve your goals . . . quickly.