There are only so many hours in a day to get your work done, so you need to make every minute count! There are really two ways to increase your daily output; you can either work harder for more hours, or you can learn to work smarter.
Personally, number two is our choice!
Increasing productivity isn’t rocket science. It simply requires that you take a close look at your workflows and business processes along with implementing time management techniques. Here are five tips to get you started on working smarter to improve your productivity.
- Set Self-Imposed Deadlines – Unmanaged stress can be a bad thing. But when it’s manageable and self-imposed it can actually work to help keep you focused on your task. Set self-directed deadlines for open-ended projects and keep them! Make sure they’re realistic. You’ll be surprised at how focused you can be when you’re watching the clock.
- Take Regular Breaks – It seems counterintuitive, but scheduled breaks can help to improve your concentration. Some research has shown that taking regular breaks during long tasks can help you to maintain a constant work level, while working through a task without breaks can lead to a steady decline in performance over time.
- Rethink “Meetings” – Meetings are often big time wasters, yet we still book them, go to them, and inevitably complain about them afterwards! Before you book your next meeting stop and consider if you can get the job done via email or a phone call.
- Implement the “Two-Minute Rule” – The idea is to make the most out of those little windows that open up throughout your day. If there’s a task that can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. Completing a task right away actually takes less time than putting it off for later.
- Use Your Commute – Many of us commute to work and spend that time reading, doing the crossword, gaming online or Facebooking. Instead try using that down time to create your daily to do list, return emails, or brainstorm your next big idea.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your productivity take a step back and consider the ways you can work smarter!