Clutter busting, timers and some introspection can boost your daily productivity. Learn to plan tomorrow today, and use simple strategies to improve output.
Being productive each day does not come from working harder, but working smarter.
Here are 9 tips to help you make each day more productive.
1. Get ready the night before.
Whatever you can get done the night before, from laying out the outfit you plan to wear, to setting the breakfast table, to checking your To Do list, to filling your car's gas tank, the more you'll be able to get done the next day.
2. Use your To Do list.
Don't go through your day in a random, haphazard fashion. Do one thing at a time as listed on your To Do list, and cross each task off your list as you complete it.
3. Set timers.
If you tend to start projects, but get distracted and get off track, timers can be a huge help. When you begin a project, set a timer for 15 minutes. If the timer goes off and you're still working on your project, great! If it sounds and you're doing something else, immediately drop what you're doing and go back to your original project. Keep setting the timer every 15 minutes until you're done.
4. Stop trying to be a super hero.
If you can delegate some tasks to your spouse, your kids, your associates, your co-workers, an outside source, etc., then do it. Once you take the 'I have to do it all myself' responsibility off your shoulders, you'll be able to get more done and feel less exhausted at the end of the day.
5. Cut the clutter.
Clutter is one of the main barriers of productivity. If you can't find what you need, or you don't have enough clear space to work, or you are stressed by the mess, it's going to be very difficult to get anything done in a timely manner. Make a promise to yourself to begin getting rid of the clutter and keep that promise. It's an important one.
6. Use your computer.
Sound like a silly tip? I know there are thousands (millions) of people who still are not making use of the technology available to them. For example, I personally know three accountants who still use pen, paper and calculator to calculate financials. Ugh! Take the time to learn how to use computer tools, such as spreadsheets, word processing documents and databases. You cannot calculate, look up, spell check, etc. anywhere close to the seconds it would take a computer program to do so for you.
7. Know yourself.
Work on your most important projects and tasks during the time of day when you feel most energetic and awake.
Determine if you're an early bird or a night owl, and schedule your projects accordingly.
8. Reduce interruptions.
When working on something, do whatever you can to eliminate unnecessary interruptions. Put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on your door. Allow your voicemail to field your calls. Turn off the radio and/or the television. Tell visitors you'll stop by later in the day when you're done with your project.
9. Get something done, even if it's small.
Try to start and finish your first task of the day. Completing a project early on is great motivation for you to continue being productive. I always start my day with a task or project that I can complete in 15 minutes or less. Once I'm done with it, I feel energized and move on to the next task or project of the day with ease.