Getting more done with less time is a challenge for most people trying to get ahead. We are busy taking the kids to school or sports or helping with their homework, cooking meals, cleaning house, going to the gym, networking and masterminding, goal setting, planning, writing, marketing, selling, working on multiple projects, dealing with employees, employers, contractors, and better halves. Whatever your case, here are five ways to help you be more productive.
- I know you have heard this before but it’s true. Make a list. Don’t just make it in your head either. Sit down and write down 1-3 important things you want to accomplish that day. If you don’t finish a task on the day you wrote it down, carry that task over to the next day.
- Set aside one uninterrupted hour per day to work on the items written on your list. You will be amazed at what you can get done in just one hour. Make sure you don’t drift. No dawdling about with anything that isn’t on the list.
- Just say no. Make your list of priorities for whatever you are doing each day. Then, whenever the phone rings or someone pops in the office begins tying up your time with unimportant jabber. Politely make yourself unavailable to them. This is uncomfortable at first but once you do it a few times and get into the habit you will be amazed both in how good you feel saying no, and by how much more you can get done.
- No more email checking 50 times a day. Think about it like this. How often do you run out to check the mailbox at your house? Once a day perhaps. Well, why do you feel like you need to check your email 50 times a day? You can add more productive time to your schedule by limiting the amount of times you check your inbox each day. Setup autoresponders that say something like “Thank you for your email. This inbox is checked at 8am and 4pm and you can expect a reply to your email within 24 hours. If you need assistance before then please call.”
- Go habitual. Doing the above things continually is the real key to making lasting improvements in your productivity. Just like everything in life worth doing, you can’t expect to do something once, or twice and be good at it. These solutions can be difficult at first and you may fall off the wagon time and time again. But…if you keep doing these things religiously you will be more productive.
- Bonus tip – Turn off the Television. If you think checking email 50 times a day is unproductive, that’s nothing compared to 3 or 4 unproductive hours of television.