It’s a great feeling when you leave your desk after an ultra-productive day. In order to really thrive, and seize each day, how efficiently you use your time is of utmost importance. Of course, we all face the same challenge — there are only 24 hours in our day, so to reach our goals we must find ways to do more with the precious time we’ve been given.
Don’t panic! this isn’t about working longer or pushing harder — it’s about working smarter. Productivity hacks can help you far more efficient, here’s how to squeeze every drop out of every hour!
1. Slay your dragon first
In the business world, this is often known as “Eating a frog” it comes from a Mark Twain quote -‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’
Which means doing the least appetizing, most dreaded item on your to-do list first, to get it out of the way. If you let your biggest challenges sit, you’ll spend the day dreading it — or convincing yourself to put it off further. If you slay them right away, then you’re freed up to tackle the stuff that is more exciting!
The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.Goethe
2. Urgent Schmurgent
We must strive to address ‘ tyranny of the urgent’, the tendency of little things that ‘have to be done right now’ can get in the way of what really matters. The key here is to delete or delegate. Practice spotting when putting out fires is getting in the way of your performance i.e Do you have to respond to every client email right away or could you send one weekly newsletter to address common questions? Let go of the things that hinder your progress.
Differentiate between urgent tasks and important ones. Your goals and projects are important tasks. Notifications and alerts are urgent tasks that can wait.
3. Checking email…
It’s hard to avoid letting e-mail be a constant interruption, but Email forces you to become reactive instead of proactive, structuring your day according to the needs of others. So take control of your time; check e-mail on a schedule, perhaps twice a day. Allowing the remaining time to get on with your projects, or what matters most.
4. Say No
Its can be hard to say no to new work/opportunities, but saying yes to everything can have you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing projects and allows you the time to successfully fulfill them. So think carefully about each commitment you take on. When you are on the clock or supposed to be working, your time is for your work. Protect it. Say no more often. Don’t get lured into things you don’t have time for.
5. and, No to multitasking
Multitasking is a productivity killer. Avoid multitasking, it’s actually less productive than doing a single thing at a time. Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. Do one thing well and move on to the next.
- Make lists to organise your time
- Schedule in breaks to get outside or rest
- Keep a list of your bog goals and dreams pinned up somewhere you can see them every day — to remind you where you’re headed
- Forgive yourself for ‘off days’ sometimes, the best we can achieve in a day is a shower and putting on clothes… Thats ok! tomorrow is a new start!
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