Successful individuals maximize their time to make each day as productive as possible. To reveal your potential success, you must learn to make the most of every hour of every day. The only way you can increase output is to either put in more hours or work smarter. Follow these five tips to work smarter and increase your daily productivity.
Plan and Prioritize
The night before your next work day write an agenda of the tasks you need to get accomplished. This plan will provide you with direction, intention and prevent you from rushing around or wasting time and energy. You will find you’re more effective and efficient with this progressive mindset. In addition to planning your day, plan for every week, every year, every five years and every ten years to set goals and intentions for success. Be proactive about what you want to achieve and write it down to keep yourself accountable.
Tackle Your Toughest Tasks and Projects When You’re Most Alert
There isn’t a prescribed schedule that works perfect for everyone. As an individual, you must determine what works best for your genetic makeup and plan around that. Sometimes, the difficult tasks get pushed off because we know they will be time consuming or we don’t feel confident enough to achieve them. With that approach though, they will never get done. If you’re most alert in the morning, attack that difficult task first thing and be done with it so it’s not looming overhead and distracting you from other tasks. If you hit your stride mid-day or after lunch, make sure you block your calendar to tackle that difficult task during your peak performance hours.
Schedule Administrative Tasks
Block time on your calendar specifically for responding to emails, returning calls and completing other administrative tasks and be adamant about adhering to that schedule. This proactive approach will minimize the potential to get off track or lose focus on your bigger projects and tasks. Studies show it takes an average of 26 minutes to recover from trivial interruptions, such as answering emails immediately after they hit your inbox or responding to every text message you receive. Schedule time for those administrative tasks to stay ahead and in control of your work day.
Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
Your attitude is a powerful tool that you have the choice to use either for or against you. It shapes the perception of your day and serves as an excellent predictor of achievement. Begin each day prepared and ready to face adversity and daily challenges with grace. Don’t avoid or run from obstacles, attack them head on and focus on bringing value to everything you touch. Be confident and keep your mind set on solutions, not problems. Cultivating a positive outlook will build energy and momentum for great things to happen.
Put an End to Multitasking
Science has proven time and time again that multitasking is not humanly possible. Over time we have convinced ourselves that we can respond to four emails, call our boss and drink a cup of coffee all at the same time. The reality is, we simply cannot successfully complete all those tasks at once. You will find yourself completing tasks much quicker if you focus on one thing exclusively before moving on to the next. Some days will be more productive than others, so don’t beat yourself up if you hit a speed bump and experience a bad day. Conversely, take a deep breath and refocus your energy to implement the above tips to work smarter and be more productive. Once you hit your stride you will see dramatic improvement in how much more you can get done both in and out of the office.