If you’re anything like a lot of my clients, you have loads of competing priorities. Between work, family, household chores, friends, and hobbies, you have a lot of plates you have to keep spinning. As a result, during the time you devote to your work, you need to be as productive as possible.
Luckily I’ve got some solutions for you! Read on for some tricks to help you manage your time more effectively.
1. Stop multi-tasking
Although a lot of people take pride in their ability to multi-task, multi-tasking is a myth. We are really only able to focus on one thing at a time, and by trying to do several things at once, you actually decrease your productivity. Give your full attention to each task on your to-do list as you are completing it, and you will find that you are more effective. (And if you need to work on your ability to focus, check out some of my posts on mindfulness).
2. Take breaks or switch up activities
While forcing yourself to work on an activity for hours, have you ever noticed that you tend to get less and less efficient as time goes by? That’s because most of us are only able to maintain sustained attention for so long. By changing the stimulus you are responding to by switching things up every so often, you can refresh your attention and make the most of your time.
3. Don’t be a slave to your smart phone
A lot of us can be distracted by the lure of a new email coming in. Despite our best efforts, the flashing light on our smart phone sucks us in to a rabbit hole of checking emails, text messages, and Facebook posts. To combat this, simply close your email program, turn off your smart phone alerts, or better yet, put your phone on the other side of the room. This will help reduce the temptation to interrupt your work by checking emails, and instead, you can go through them at predetermined points throughout the day.
4. Be honest with yourself about how you’re using your time
The internet can be quite addictive and a lot of us spend too much time on it during work hours. You click on one article, and next thing you know, you’re clicking on suggested articles, click bait, and other links. If you find yourself doing this more than you would like, set limits on yourself, and find your efficiency increase.
5. Recognize the importance of self-care
Some of us put self-care far down the list of priorities. However, research shows that activities such as working out, eating right, tending to relationships, and managing stress effectively make us more productive. Instead of leaving it to chance, make appointments to meet with friends, attend a workout class, meet with a personal trainer, or engage in a hobby. That way, you will be less likely to blow off these important activities, and reap the rewards of your time investment, with greater productivity.
What are your favorite time management tips? Share them in the comments section!
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These valuable tips are all based on research, and my 10+ years of experience working with successful senior executives.