We all have 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day, but it’s what you do with your time that really makes a difference. It’s easy to lose track of time, get side tracked by different tasks and then find yourself behind on your daily to-do list, but rest assured, there are some relatively simple ways to manage your time to allow yourself to be more productive.
1. Take time to plan – As soon as you get into work, disconnect yourself from everything. Take 15 – 30 minutes to simply plan out what you need to get done. Taking this time to prepare your mind and body for the day will prove beneficial to the overall productivity of the day.
2. Set realistic deadlines- Knowing what needs to be done is only half of the battle. Once you’ve outlined what needs to get done, record the deadline that you want to have it completed by. Be realistic with these deadlines, in today’s society everyone wants everything done yesterday, don’t overwhelm yourself by setting unrealistic deadlines.
3. There’s an extension for that- If you’re like 90% of society, you have several websites that seem to make time disappear right before your eyes. Whether it’s the social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or the daily news, stock trade or media sites, these can all be detrimental to your productive day. We’re all human and small doses of these sites are sometimes what helps us get through the tough days, but some of Google Chromes extensions can help keep you on track. Extensions such as Stay Focused, TitleTimeTracker, or Time Report will monitor your usage on sites, and in some cases lock you out of websites that you’ve set a time limit on; these are great to use on your personal time wasters.
4. Be unavailable- In most cases, your business won’t suffer if you don’t return a call or email immediately. While some positions absolutely must respond immediately there are others in which waiting an hour or two to respond won’t make a difference. We’re used to revolving our days around instantly responding to calls and emails, but this often distracts us and causes us to be less productive. Set times to return all calls and emails and other times to focus on the task at hand. See how much of your project you can get done if you focus solely on that one project for even one hour.
5. What are you best at? We often waste time trying to complete projects that we aren’t good at or don’t understand. Everyone has different skills and it’s okay to ask for help on projects that you struggle with. Instead of wasting hours trying to teach yourself how to get something done, ask someone who is already good at it, or if possible, try and allocate that particular task to someone that is skilled at it. This is especially important for entrepreneurs trying to be an expert in all areas. Or, if you’re an employee looking to specialise in one particular area it may be beneficial to get a certification or qualification for your specialisation thus allowing you to become an “official expert” in that area.There are an abundance of qualifications you can get based on the work experience (Recognition of prior learning or skills recognition) you’re gaining every day.