One of the most common answers these days to the question “How are you?” seems to be “Busy.” The next question could logically be “Busy doing what?” If you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the days or that you could better handle your responsibilities, then look to these four tips to help you:
1) Nail a time limit to each task: Make it clear that you need to complete X by 10:30 AM, Y by noon, and Z by 4PM, and you can prevent work from dragging on and cutting into time reserved for other activities.
2) Focus: It is easy to multi-task with modern conveniences, but sometimes we can find ourselves accomplishing merely parts of many projects instead of efficiently completing the ones at hand and moving to the next. Prioritize and block out distractions. Doing one thing at a time can improve the overall measurable quality of accomplishments.
3) Leave buffer time in between tasks: Uncontrollable events such as weather delays and traffic can undo the best preparations and throw off your day. Having transition points in time (even just 5-10 minutes) can be used to redirect efforts instead of having things blend together. If you can fully wrap up something before going on to something else, you can alleviate some pressure on yourself.
4) Delegate: For people used to being in control, delegating is difficult at first, but the most productive part of each day should be concentrated on what you do best. For those tasks that can be done better by other people, delegating can empower them and take the weight off you.
Did you know? Having a written plan for each week and referring to it can create a huge boost in productivity. Not only can it help you organize, but it can also help you become more accountable for how your time is actually being spent.