Time Management: Staying Efficient
DIY Sprocket Solutions
As the days start getting shorter we start feeling like we are getting less and less done during the day. There are never enough hours in a day to get everything accomplished that needs to get done. This doesn’t mean that we can’t use the time that we have to stay productive. We just need to shake things up a bit. So go on –grab yourself a cup of joe, splash some water on your face, and have yourself a stretch. It’s time to settle in and get some things done. What’s that you say? Running in circles with no direction as the hours pass by? Chill. You panicking about the 17 things you need to do but don’t have time for is definitely not helping.
Allow me to help:
- Have a plan. Add a little structure to your day. If your head is swimming with a million tasks and if you have 30 projects that need your attention all at once, you’re going to have to take a step back. Take out a pen, grab some paper, type it down on your computer, chisel and stone –whatever works for you. Make a list. My suggestion? Either start each morning off with a list or make a weekly list either Monday morning or Friday afternoon. The Monday morning list will help you get your head into the week and the Friday afternoon list will allow you to dive right in Monday morning without stressing all weekend about priorities. The point is this, trying to do everything at once is not good for your end game. You can do a million projects haphazardly this week or you can due 5 and totally nail them. Up to you.
- Take breaks. I know, I know, I just told you to caffeine it up and settle in. It’s important to remember, in the midst of all your rockstar time management effectiveness, to take breaks. Failing to take care of you just makes those meltdown moments even worse. If you’re not stopping to eat or sleep, chances are that stressful day just turned into a murderous day. Please, spare yourself and everyone else around you and take 30 minutes to eat a sandwich and doze off in your car.
- Schedule your distractions. Huh? I’m not crazy, I’ve got a point here folks, bear with me. If there are distractions that you can eliminate, do so. Turn off the music if it’s getting in the way, tell the gossipy coworker you’ve got to run, and close the never ending stream of email. Oh, and Facebook. Seriously. We know you’re checking it. For those distractions that actually require your attention –schedule them in. Take an hour a day. Or thirty minutes twice a day. Or twenty minutes three times a day. Check your email, review status of current project, return phone calls, etc. Schedule in your distraction time so it’s not cutting into your productivity, but rather it’s PART of your productive work day.
- Stay balanced. If you are running your own company or just running yourself into the ground, remember to take time away from work. When you’re home, be home. These may intersect (especially if you actually work AT home) but have a certain time that all computers, phones, etc. are turned off. Watch some TV, stuff your face, go for a walk, take a shower, get some much needed rest. Don’t forget what you’re working for. Look around you. Having a work/life balance will help you be a lot more focused and driven while you’re at work.
What about you guys? What are your best ‘staying productive’ tips and tricks? Leave a comment below and please share this article with any scrambled brain person who shuffles through the day getting .02 things accomplished. Thanks.