April 7, 2017

How often do you wish for more time in the day? Once, twice, three times a day? While you can’t magically add hours to a day, you can change the way you use the 24 hours to make better use of your time. Let’s explore a few ways we can increase our productivity.

1. BATCHING

Batching tasks helps you focus allowing you to complete more in less time with fewer distractions. Rather than reacting to things as they come up, group similar things together and work on them in a set period.

Turn off as many distractions as possible before starting. For example, put your mobile on silent and send phone calls straight to voicemail.

You’ll be amazed at just how much you get done when you approach tasks this way.

2. SCHEDULING

Instead of writing a to-do list on a scrap of paper try scheduling them in your diary. Blocking time out for something specific increases the chances that you will use the time for the designated task.

Schedule your time to work with your preferences. Are you full of energy first thing in the morning and power through your work in the early hours of the day? Consider blocking out desk time in the morning and scheduling meetings in the afternoon. Vice versa if you are an evening person. And if a morning and evening person want to meet then lunch might be the best option!

3. REDUCING EXPECTATIONS

Is your to-do list as long as your arm? Do you reach the end of the day and despair because said list is no shorter? It might be time to examine how realistic your expectations are. If you never get through all that you’d like to do in a day, perhaps you are simply asking way more of yourself than is possible.

Try reducing your expectations by choosing three things that must be done the next day and focus on those three first. Choose a small, medium and large task. Some people like to start with a small, simple task and warm-up to the larger task, while for others it’s the reverse. Again, go with what suits you.

Another way to stop beating yourself up if you don’t work all the way through your list, is to categorise tasks under two headings:

•    Must do today
•    Nice if I get to it…

It’s an exercise that helps you realistically view what you can achieve in any given day. So go ahead reduce those high (often unattainable) expectations you’ve been placing on yourself. You’ll feel better for it.

4. OUTSOURCING

Outsourcing might be the closest you can come to cloning yourself. Review your work and see what you could hand over to someone else to do.

As a rule of thumb, if it’s something you could pay someone to do for less per hour than you can earn per hour consider outsourcing it. There are other instances where you’ll pay more than you’d earn because it’s the expertise you need. An expertise that would take too many hours of your time to learn, thereby impacting negatively on your earning potential.

That’s just a few ideas to help turbo charge your productivity. This list could be way longer but that would just make it overwhelming. Pick one or two to implement over the coming month and see how much more productive you become.

You might also enjoy reading our blog post about The importance of downtime – it’s a surprising way to increase your productivity!


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