If you’re struggling to manage your time effectively – I think this article can help! It is so important that you can make better use of your time and create less stress in your life. So many of you get to the point every day where you wish there were more hours in your day. You have so much more to do and no more time to do it in.
We each get the same 24 hours each day, yet some people get so much done during that time and others fall short. Could it be that you are setting yourself up for a time crisis?
Perhaps you want time to spend on your personal life, your career, being a leader, developing your business or whatever is important to you. If you don’t find the time to focus on what’s important, the route to achieving personal success will be a long one, and may take more time than you’ve got.
We all talk about improving our time management, but maybe the solution is more to do with managing your personal productivity levels to make the most of the time you have available to you.
Some of us are extremely well organised, always in control and get what we need to done, but others find it really difficult to finish tasks, often leaving things until the last minute, or taking work home most evenings. Have you got one of those long to-do lists and can never seem to be able to make your way to the end of it?
There is this one guy who never fails to impress me. I’ve only known him a short time, but what I’ve seen I like. He dreams about being able to work from home, around his family, along side other things he does for which he holds an unbelievable passion. But at this moment time doesn’t seem to be on his side.
We have all said ‘there’s not enough time in the day’, at some time or another, we’re never going to be able to extend our days, so need to find another solution.
To me one of the best strategies for managing your time is doubling your productivity. Successful people are productive. They get a lot more done than the average person. They rise to the top of their fields and to the top of their income ranges, and so can you.
Individuals at the top of their game have learned how to achieve more and better results in less time than most people. Increasing your productivity is a critical step in achieving your personal and professional goals and creating the success you envision for yourself.
So today let’s take a look at how to increase your productivity and improve the way you use your time. This is a list of my recommended strategies and tips to increase your productivity.
First, work out how you’re currently using your time. If you are really serious about working out how productive you are, you can keep a log of all your activities. You can do this over a day, a week or longer depending on how committed you are! Being aware of what you spend your time on is an important process and you need to keep a regular check on it.
One: Create Clear Goals
Develop clear goals and write them down. Because higher productivity begins with clear goals, goal setting is a key component of your strategy. As you know, a goal must be specific and measurable to be effective in guiding your behavior. It must reflect your beliefs and be within your power to achieve. The goal and your values must align. Finally, the goal must be time limited. And, to make it real and concrete, it must be written down. The clearer and more concrete you make your goals, the more likely you are to accomplish them in a shorter period of time.
Two: Write Your action Plan
Write a clear action plan. To boost your productivity, make sure you have a clear, written plan of action. Every minute you spend in careful planning will save you as many as ten minutes in execution. Create a list of every step or task necessary to achieve your goal. Every morning, write down the tasks you need to complete before the day is over. Always work from a list. Think on paper. This will keep you on track and give you a visual record of accomplishment. You will see extraordinary results as soon as you follow this simple step: The very act of writing out a list and referring to it constantly will increase your productivity by 25 percent or more.
Three: Set Your Priorities
Analyse your list before you take action. Identify and start with the high-value tasks on your list. ‘‘High value’’ is identified by the potential consequences attached to doing or failing to do a task. High-value tasks have significant consequences; low-value tasks have few or no consequences at all.
Four: Eliminate Distractions
Concentrate and eliminate distractions. In this step, choose a high-value activity or task, start on it immediately, and stay with it until it is done. Focusing single-minded attention on one task allows you to complete it far more quickly than starting and stopping. When you apply this concentrated attention on a major task, you can reduce the amount of time spent on it by as much as 80 percent.
Five: Change your Timings
Lengthen your workday but increase your time off. By starting your workday a little earlier, working through lunchtime, and staying a little later, you can become one of the most productive people in your field. The early start and late finish to your workday will allow you to beat the traffic both coming into and going home from work. This can add two or three hours to your productive working day without really affecting your lifestyle. You will derive enormous benefits from these extra hours, which make a relatively small change to your overall schedule. Simultaneously, be vigilant about scheduling regular time off, perhaps starting with weekends. Once you have integrated this practice into your routine, start planning other short vacation breaks of two or three days. Work up to longer vacations. When you are away from work, clear your mind completely of job concerns and engage fully with the other parts of your life. This will clear your mind and restore your energy. You will be amazed at the dramatic increase in productivity you will experience when you are back at work.
Six: Work Harder
Work harder at what you do. When you are at work, concentrate on work all the time you are there. Don’t squander your time or fall into the habit of treating the workplace as a community or educational environment, where socializing is an accepted element of the mix. Rather, at the office, put your head down and work full blast as long as you are there. Many people who have followed this simple rule have doubled their productivity and reached their goals faster than they thought possible.
Seven: Pick up your Pace
At work, develop a sense of urgency and maintain a quicker tempo in all your activities. Get on with the job. Dedicate yourself to moving quickly from task to task. You’ll get substantially more done just by deciding to pick up the pace in everything you do.
Eight: Work Smarter
Focus on the value of the tasks you complete. While the number of hours you put in is important, what matters most is the quality and quantity of results you achieve. Again, the more time you spend on those higher-value tasks with greater potential consequences, the greater the results you will obtain from every hour you put in.
Nine: Align Work with your Skills
Align your work with your skills. Skill and experience count. You achieve more in less time when you work on tasks at which you are especially skilled and experienced. Always strive to become more effective at the most important things you do. Achieving consistent excellence at the most critical things you do is the fastest, most efficient route to achieving the goals you have set for yourself.
Ten: Bunch Your tasks
Group similar activities and do them all at the same time. Making all your calls, completing all your estimates, or preparing all your presentation slides at the same time allows you to develop speed and skill at each activity. You simply get better at making each call, writing the next estimate, or designing the next slide. Cut your performance time by as much as 80 percent by doing several similar tasks in sequence.
“Whatever you put into it, you’ll get out of it”? If you carry out what you do with enthusiasm and energy, you’ll get much more accomplished and do a better job on these things, as well.
Pick a few of these tips to Boost Your Productivity and start implementing them right away. Knowledge is great, but action is power, so putting what you’ve learnt to work for you is what will make a difference in your life and help you to get more done.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your own productivity? Which one of the above tips do you think will make the greatest difference to you?