Want to be more productive? Try these tricks.
So much to do, so little time. Do you wonder why you struggle each day to accomplish your to-do list? You would think 16 hours of wake-time would be enough get your work done, but at the end of the day you don’t know where all the time went. If you’re like many people it’s because when you could be marking off your to-do list, you’re wasting your time on unimportant things.
Keep reading to learn a few ways you can quit wasting so much time and complete those tasks that need to get done.
Track Your Time
Everyone wastes time differently. What may be a distraction for you might not tempt someone else. To effectively quit wasting time, you’ve got to know how you spend your time. Use a spreadsheet that lists each hour of the day. At the top of each hour, think back over the previous 60 minutes. How much time did you waste and what were you doing? After two days you’ll get an idea of how much time you spend on inconsequential things and what those distractions are.
Make a Plan
Start each day with a plan in mind and write down a to-do list. Prioritize each item and then make a schedule by setting time-estimations for task. As you go through your day and make decisions about how to spend your time, make sure it aligns with your plan. Allow extra time in your schedule so you can be flexible when interruptions happen.
Put Away Your Phone
These days phones aren’t just used to make phone calls. The Internet, social media, and countless apps call your name all day long. You need a break from work, you’re waiting in line, or you’re just bored, so what do you do? Check your phone. Unfortunately, what could take 10 seconds ends up taking half an hour. And even if you’re off the phone fast, you just derailed your train of thought, making it more difficult finish the task you were working to complete. The problem with phones is they’re always with you. When you’ve got an important task to do, set your phone aside until your job is done. Texts, calls, and emails can wait.
Take a Break from Social Media
One of the biggest time wasters is social media. You may like how it allows you to stay in touch with old friends or snoop into other people’s lives, but you’re likely spending way too much time scrolling through post after post of meaningless information. Think of how much more you could get done in your own life if you weren’t so concerned about everyone else’s life or how many “likes” you got on your recent post. Ask a trusted friend to change your password or download an app that sets timers or restrictions on social media sites.
Turn off the Television
Many families’ televisions are on while they get ready in the morning, as they make and eat dinner, and while they relax all evening before bed. Think of all the books you could read or books you could write, all the chores you could get done, or all the calories you could burn in that amount of time. Zoning out with a television show can help with productivity if reserved for a short amount of relaxation time, but don’t let it run your life.
When there’s a task on your to-do list that you’re dreading, it’s easy to find plenty of other things you’d rather do. Unfortunately, taking a nap, watching a movie, or daydreaming won’t help get your job done. Instead of waiting until the last minute to write that proposal or fix the leaky faucet, jump in and get it done. You’ll feel better once you start and it likely won’t be as bad as you thought.