Time — it seems like we’re always short on it.
How many frequently do you end your day with several items on your to-do list?
Or, maybe you’ve been anxious to start a podcast or learn to code, but it feels like there’s never enough time in your day.
What if I could help you to stop wasting time and start increasing productivity?
What would you do with your “extra” time?
Below, I detail the steps you can take to start managing your time more effectively.
Find Your Lost Time
In 2017, around 44 percent of adults experienced stress frequently in daily life and 41 percent did not have enough time to do the things they wanted to do.
That’s a staggering statistic, but let’s look at how your time is spent each day. Do you have time in your day that you could allocate elsewhere? For example, instead of binge-watching TV, maybe you could be spending 30 minutes learning a new language. Instead of procrastinating, use your downtime to work towards your goals; even if that means just 15 minutes per day.
Think about the last time you sat down to do something. How long was it before you were distracted by something else? Think about it. There are so many distractions out there. The Internet itself, social media, email, household projects. Let’s face it; our attention spans are short. If you want to truly be productive, you need to minimize as many distractions as possible. For example, if you’re sitting down to write a blog post, close out Twitter, put your phone on silent, and minimize any unused tabs. Avoid the urge to multitask; it only ends up wasting your time.
Turn on the Tunes
Music can be a great way to cut through other distracting noises. If you work in a loud environment with lots of background noise, consider throwing on your favorite station. The key here is to find music that doesn’t further distract you. For example, songs with lyrics could be distracting. Consider listening to classical music or another vocal-free station that will help you stay focused on your work.
We all have those days; it’s almost inevitable. You can’t always control what’s on your to-do list, and some days you just won’t get everything done. But the key is to prioritize. Before you begin any project on your list, look at the big picture. Identify the 3-5 most important tasks in your day and be sure to do those first.
If you want to make real headway, you need to start setting deadlines. A well-planned deadline can help you break down a big project. You can split the project into mini projects and deadlines to help you reach your goal. Deadlines are important because they also help hold you accountable. If you don’t meet your deadline, you know the main reason for that is you.
Although this might feel counterintuitive breaks are the key to productivity. Taking a short five or 15-minute break can help you reset and recharge. When you come back to your project, don’t be surprised if the roadblock you were having is now gone. In many cases, all you need is some separation in order to get clarity.
Create a Schedule
Schedules are another way to help you stay on track and focused. Create a schedule that factors in time for you to make progress. For example, if you’re working on learning to code, block out a set time each day where you will work only on that goal. At that time each day, only work towards this goal.
What are your top productivity tips?