by Lina Martinez
Being able to finish off each day with a feeling that you’ve ticked all the boxes and got everything done that you want to is the dream. But sadly, for many of us, whether we are employed or work for ourselves, this rarely happens. We can seem to have a neverending to-do list and sometimes may have only been able to tick one thing off each day. So if the latter sounds like you, what can be done about it? A lot of it can be down to lack of productivity or lack of knowing how to use your time wisely. So the good news is that there is help! So if you’re tired of unfinished projects or tired of always feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to do, then have a read through these tricks and trips to see if they can help.
Find Out Your Best Working Time
By now you should have a good idea of when you work best. For some, it can be first thing in the morning; though you may be tired, the chances are that you are more focused. Afternoons can work for some people, but not too many, and even evening work can be a good time for others. So decide when your best time to work is, and make sure that you are scheduling your ‘heavy lifting’ tasks during those times. If you have to schedule a meeting, for example, then do it when you’re less productive, as when you’re in a meeting, generally you are being less productive. Then when you’re working at your best, you are likely to get more done.
There are a few simple things that you can start doing today in order to reduce the number of distractions that you have. First of all, how about putting your smartphone into airplane mode? It is a small thing, but when you see social media notifications pop up or personal emails, then it can be very tempting to check them, which will break up your working flow. You could also think about working from home a couple of times a week if being in the office and chatting to colleagues is a distraction. Likewise, if you normally work from home and need a change to be more productive, how about working in a coffee shop, for example? So think about what distracts you in the office and look for ways to reduce or remove it.
Invest in New Software
Some of the things we have around us will only let us be productive to a point; some tasks may take a long time, simply because of what the equipment or software allows you to do. Which is why investing in something like new business financial software can be a game changer. You can save time with a host of built-in tools that automate manual error-prone tasks, for example, which is a good way to be more accurate in your work but to also improve your time management. So think about what you need for your job and if there is a better way of doing things.
Regardless of gender, research has shown that multitasking in the workplace is a productivity killer. It doesn’t really allow you to do anything particularly well, other than getting it done. It can cause more mental blocks as you aren’t really focusing on one particular thing, as well as even lowering your IQ (according to a study by Stanford University). So it needs to be a no-brainer to stop multitasking. Focus on one thing at a time and you will feel less stressed, more focused, and hey, even smarter.
Plan Your Days
If you fail to plan for something then you plan to fail at it, as the old saying goes. So one thing that you should be doing perhaps the night before or for the week, is to plan out your time. What needs to be done first and what is less important? What deadlines do you have and what meetings do you have? When you make a plan you’re much more likely to stick to it and you’ll get much more done. If you don’t, then you’re likely to choose the simpler or more enjoyable tasks first, leading to procrastination and perhaps not meeting deadlines. You’ll feel more in control when you know what you’re doing and less stressed that you didn’t get it done, especially if you have set aside time the next day to achieve it.