- Plan ahead. There are three ways that experts advise planning. The first is to plan your day. Know what you have ahead of you, prioritize it, and cross things off your list. Second, plan where you’ll begin tomorrow. You’ll hit the ground running and waste no time the next day. When your tasks start piling up, sit down and revise your plan for the day. The third plan is for projects. When you start something new, outline all of its parts. Identify what needs to be finished in what order, people you can ask for help, and anything else relevant to your project. You don’t have to follow your plan to the letter, but do revise it as you go if you make a lot of changes. Of course, always follow planning with action!
- Delegate and outsource. The Internet is filled with time-saving tools. Use them. You can find everything from virtual assistants to grocery delivery. Figure out what tasks you can hand off and get them off your plate. Utilizing others in the office is wonderful if you have the people. Make sure you’re utilizing calendar synchronizing and alert/reminder setups.
- Be very respectful of time. There are several pieces of advice that fall under time management. They all boil down to being cognizant of how much time you’re spending on things. Cut out meetings you don’t need, and spend less time in meetings that are necessary. Be prompt about start and end times for your meetings. Furthermore, be strict about how much individual time you spend on any task (or break.) Track and regiment time to keep yourself on task. Don’t forget to allow yourself those breaks; they do make you more productive. Just don’t get carried away with them.
- Minimize multitasking by chunking work together. On one hand, it’s nearly impossible not to multitask. Emailing, phone calls, filing, and other administrative duties can be ongoing. However, multitasking is detrimental to productivity. Your brain can really only focus on two things at a time (e.g. watching the road and driving your car.) Rather than sprinkle “mindless” tasks throughout your workday, see if you can chunk together those administrative duties and set aside an hour to only focus on them. Every time it’s possible, do only one thing at a time. You’ll do a better, faster job if your focus is honed.
- Make notes. Every time you get a great idea, jot it down. When you get a question or email you want to respond to later, write it down. When you want to remember to take the chicken out of the freezer when you get home, write it down. It is important to keep track of these distractions and give them proper attention, but don’t let them derail you from your task at hand. At lunch or the end of the day, go through your notes and attend to everything you need to do before the day’s end. Set reminders, reply to emails, start a new project folder, schedule a meeting, etc.
If you Google “Productivity tips,” you won’t be short on results. There are so many articles written about this that you’ll completely ruin your productivity weeding through them for some decent advice. Some articles have some ingenious tips. Others have worthless tips. The better articles have some consistent tips. That is what we want to bring forth today. We’ve whittled down the credible articles to their five most helpful productivity tips: