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The concept of time management has become so popular that one can hardly encounter a person who has never heard of it before. While you can get somewhat frustrated by all these fancy modern terms and definitions, the truth is that the skill of being able to do more in less time is a very nice thing to have. Sadly, no matter how many hours of hard work you put in daily, not all of them are completely productive. There are different reasons for that: procrastination, distraction or having too many tasks on your agenda simultaneously. The good news is that with the right tactic, you can optimize your task management and improve your work strategy so that you will be able to get the most of your precious time. Let’s see how it works in practical terms.
Plan Your Work and Improve Your Processes
If you never tried to draft and follow a detailed step-by-step plan of your work time, we can guarantee that you will be surprised to see that even such a small thing can significantly improve your performance. Another important aspect is improving the processes that are currently in use. Undoubtedly, it’s much easier to follow the beaten track of doing things the way you are used to, but sometimes even slight adjustments can result in a much higher efficiency rate. Thus, try new approaches and see how it goes. For example, if your work requires regular lengthy analytical papers and memos, you can save time and make your work more productive with infographic design templates and incorporate it in your reports.
When you have a detailed work plan in place, the next step is to follow it closely with maximum attention and engagement, without getting distracted with some other tasks or colleagues or anything else. Sounds like it’s easier said than done, but it’s worth all the effort you put into it. Avoiding distractions doesn’t mean you will never deal with them, some of them might be important as well. It just implies that you will take care of them at the right moment according to your schedule.
Face the Big Tasks First
It’s always a good idea to start your new day by tackling big and complicated tasks first, as soon as possible without putting them on the back burner. Having them finished earlier, ensures that the rest of your working day will go smoother and with no rush. In practical terms this means that you can spend your evenings sorting out smaller tasks, since this is a period when you gradually get tired and your productivity subsides little by little. In such a way you’ll be able to save a lot of your time and don’t get too tired or overworked.
Focus On One Stimulus
Distraction is the main enemy of our productivity, so you should do your best to learn how to cope with it. Paying attention to one sight or sound in the environment isolates it from others. This focuses the mind, enabling us to become fully present. For example, if you look at the burning candle or listen to traffic noise outside for a couple of seconds, this will help you to get back to what you were working on and regain focus.
Limit Social Media Temptations
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with various instant messengers are real time stealers. The trick is that their algorithms are built in such a way to ensure that you spend as much of your time as possible scrolling down the newsfeed, reading posts, watching videos and commenting on photos. And while it increases the performance of the social platforms, it has a negative impact on your work and productivity. There is nothing totally wrong with social media, but you should use them during your leisure time or during a small break between your scheduled tasks.
Exclude Unnecessary Meetings
Of course, making sure that every team member is on the same page and monitoring the progress of the teamwork is essential in terms of overall success of the organization. And having in-person or online meetings are a crucial component to it. However, some meetings don’t have any apparent agenda and resemble more a get-together rather than a work-related activity. When you schedule a meeting, make sure it is really necessary, and don’t forget to send around the meeting agenda to all participants so that they can follow the timeline.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
It’s a scientifically proven fact that having enough sleep is an important prerequisite of a productive and full working day. The reasons for that are quite easy to grasp: when you get a good night’s sleep, you feel better, more energetic and are less prone to tiredness. This in turn means that you work faster and make fewer mistakes that need correction.
Our workplaces are usually very busy and crowded areas that pose a great number of all possible kinds of distraction. Being well-organized and following a pre-drafted detailed work plan is the right path to getting all your tasks tackled within a reasonable amount of time without stressing you out.