Mastering the art of time management should be high on everyone’s to-do list as we enter into the new year. Implement one or all of these steps to improve your productivity and reflect back at the end of your day with a sense of accomplishment.
- Organize your workspace. Mess creates stress. Clutter has a way of diverting your attention away from your current tasks. A clean desk is essential to keeping you motivated and inspired. It’s true that some people feel more creative when their desk is messy, but that’s not the case for the majority of people.
- Don’t say yes to every request. You do not need to be available to everyone. Repeat after me, “It’s OK to say no.” The key is knowing when to push back. You do not need to respond to messages 24 hours a day, and you should be confident in saying no to unrealistic deadlines.
- Stop multi-tasking. Instead of doing many things with half the effort, concentrate on what tasks are most important and do one at a time. You will get more done with fewer mistakes by focusing on one task.
- Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy and get less done. Even mild dehydration can impact brain function.
- Prioritize your to-do list. Take all of your tasks and list them out based on priority. How you start the day sets the tone for the rest of it. If you have more momentum by taking on the biggest task first, commit to that.
- Avoid social media. Set a schedule that you can dedicate to social networking. This way, you get your daily dose or two, but you don’t waste time opening it up every time you get a notification. To turn off notifications for a particular app, go to your phone settings, then Notifications settings. There should be a toggle button next to the app you want to change.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique®. Pick something to work on. Set a timer for 25 minutes. When distractions come, simply write them down and go back to the task at hand. After the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. This is one Pomodoro session. After 4 Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break of about 20-30 minutes, then repeat.
- Turn off notifications. This may become your favorite way to be more productive. It’s easy to get distracted and off-track when you are constantly getting notifications, especially if they have sounds.
- Track your time. If you think your biggest hurdle is wasting time but you aren’t sure where the time is going, spend the day recording everything you do and be specific. At the end of the day, total up each column.
- Reward yourself. Everyone loves a little motivation via the promise of a treat. Whether it’s a delicious cupcake or taking off an hour early to go meet a friend, give yourself permission to do something you enjoy.
“Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.”
~ Harvard professor, Teresa Amabile
Still need help to stay motivated? We put together a list of handy apps to help you be more efficient with your time.
Offtime - This app helps you to unplug and block what distracts you the most. You can schedule days or hours at a time.
Be Focused Timer - Create tasks, schedule breaks and track your progress.
Loop - Habit Tracker - This free app offers daily reminders, stats, charts, and boasts that it helps you to create and maintain great habits.
Committing to a journey of self-improvement and increased productivity is easier if your body is in peak physical condition. Eat fruits and vegetables daily, and go for a walk or hit the gym before attacking those tasks for the day.
If you love to read, check out some time management books that will give you lessons to help in your time-management journey. Ending your day on a good note will bring fulfillment and help you unwind. Don’t forget that getting an adequate amount of sleep will always affect your productivity.
Check out our tips to better sleep in our blog!