Many people today scurry from task to task, check emails every two minutes and make calls while walking. However, staying busy does not equal high productivity, and definitely not success. The key to high productivity is time management.
Believe it or not, there are really enough hours in a day for everything you’d like to do, but it requires a bit of organisation to find them. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your day.
Do the most important tasks first
One golden rule of time management is to complete the most important tasks first. Every morning, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial and do them first. Once you have done them, your day has already been a success and you can move on to do other things. By doing this, you might even be able to finish something in advance and save some time for the next day. On top of all of these positives, it will also give you a sense of satisfaction which can really motivate you to do the same in the following days.
Create an organizing system. Start by setting up a filing system for documents and make sure all items have a place to be stored. Clean your desk and drawers so that you can find what you are looking for immediately. Also, create a daily or weekly plan and make sure you always follow it. If you are working on several tasks at the same time, batch the related tasks together so that your mind can continue flowing within the current zone instead of switching unnecessarily to something that requires you to re-orient.
Focus what you are doing
There are always those few who seem to work no harder than anyone else, and yet constantly kick goals. The secret is always their focus. Concentrate on the task you are currently doing without being distracted by numerous other things – it will help you get things done quickly and then move to the next one.
Ensure you get enough sleep
Sleep at least seven or eight hours a day. Some people choose to sacrifice sleep as a way to hack productivity and wring a few more hours out of the day. However, you aren’t doing yourself any favours by doing this! People need seven to eight hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. Follow the needs of your body and never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep.
Get an early start
Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. Since you have to finish your task eventually, why leave it to the last minute? It feels much nicer and less stressful to get earlier start on something.
Once you have decided firmly to do something, start immediately and get it done before the deadline. You will see that you have created time to do something else – and who doesn’t want more time?
Be conscientious of TV/Internet/gaming time
Time flies really fast when you are watching TV or browsing Twitter, which can be one of the biggest drainers of productivity. Be aware of how much time you spend on these activities, set a schedule and stick to it. If you find it difficult to resist these temptations, consider locking yourself in a room while working, away from all the distractions. It might be extreme, but it works.
Yuan Liu is a freelancer who has recently taken a course on human resources management. She finds PayGlobal’s HR & Payroll software (HRIS) simplifies workforce management and provides a flexible HR solution – she will definitely use it in future.