“I never have time to finish all my tasks.” “I wish the day would last 30 hours.” Those are common expressions I’ve heard from my prospects before we start a growth discovery development process.
These days we are under more time pressure than ever. We have new electronic gadgets to provide us with “real time” information (e-mail, instant messenger, task bars, calendars, GPS, etc) and open a world of input in front of us. We buy those gadgets to make our lives easier, but sometimes what we try do is to live our live faster.
In order to release the time pressure and get more benefit from our use of time, here are 7 simple ways to be more productive with less effort:
- Clear your head. It’s not easy to gain the right perspective, to know what is important and what it is not, if we spend most of our day in the middle of an information stream. Take an hour, two if possible, to shut off the information flow. You will have the opportunity to get a better view of your life and your job. The time you “take off” will be well worth it. Tell everyone that you are unavailable, shut off all your gadgets, shut yourself in somewhere private, and take some time to think about what is important and what is not. What are your goals? Where are you going? What will it take to get there?
- Concentrate on what is important. Once you have your head cleared, you need to figure out your priorities. Ask yourself this question: “What task can I do that will get me the most return on my time investment?” Think about the project that will get you the most recognition, or will help you to increase your business. Make a list of these types of tasks — they are your most important priorities.
- Get rid of what is not important. Now look at your list. What’s on there that’s not essential? Can you just drop those items from your schedule? Or delegate them to someone else? If not, put them on a “to do” list. Then, as you focus on your essential tasks, check back on that list every now and then. Sometimes you’ll realize that the less essential tasks were not really necessary at all.
- Do what is really important first. If you have a list of things to do today, and one or two of them are truly essential, do those items first thing in the morning. Don’t wait until later in the day. Get them out of the way, and your productivity will speed up.
- Keep it simple. Do not move around with a bunch of gadgets or the latest and coolest applications. Find a simple notebook for writing things down, a simple to-do list (no frills) and the simplest application possible for doing your work. Then forget about the tools and think only of the task at hand. If you are too worried about the tools, you’re not actually doing anything.
- Do one thing at a time. Most of the time multi-tasking is a waste of time. You cannot get things done when you have a million things pulling for your attention. Focus on the essential task in front of you, to the exclusion of all else, and you are much more likely to get it completed, in less time, with less effort.
- Simplify some more. Once you have created your priorities, identified your essential tasks, and eliminated distractions, you should become productive. Every now and then, take a look at what you’re doing, at the information coming into your life, at how you spend your time and the tools you use. Then simplify some more.
At Activate Group we help clients achieve quick, efficient and profitable growth through the easy implementation of proven methods. For more information, please contact us at (305) 722-7213 or send an e-mail to [email protected].