Do you often find yourself wishing there were more hours in a day? Read on for some advice on how you can make the hours you’ve got really count.
Plan your days
Productive people tend to be highly organised, with a structured plan for how they spend their time.
Take just 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to write out your to-do list for the next day (or week). Not only will you get a head start on each day’s activities, you’ll also have a better night’s sleep if you aren’t running through all those tasks in your head.
Start with the important stuff
Tackle the most difficult or significant tasks on your list first, while your brain is at its most active – usually right after that first cup of coffee.
Getting these priority items out of the way allows you to relax a bit later on, and savour the tasks you really enjoy doing.
Take a break
While it may seem counterintuitive, taking breaks is vital to your productivity. Trying to complete a task after you’ve already been working on it for several hours will only lead to frustration. Take a walk or a nap – anything that will allow your brain to reboot itself.
You’d have to be some kind of robot to stay focused all the time, which is why some experts suggest working in ‘sprints’. Using a time management tool such as www.e.ggtimer.com, set yourself some strict time constraints to get a task done, and then challenge yourself to beat the timer. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve – and then you can reward yourself with a break.
People can be so inconsiderate. They discover you hard at work and say horrible things like, “hey, how’s the studying going?”
Once you’ve assigned yourself a task and a block of time to complete it, make sure you have that time all to yourself. That may require ignoring your phone or turning off the WiFi so that you aren’t tempted to see what’s happening on social media.
Cut out the multitasking
A group of researchers at Stanford University found that ‘people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.’
Although we may feel like we are getting things done when we’re multitasking, we’re actually getting less done. That’s because it’s harder to screen out irrelevant information and prioritise the tasks at hand.
The bottom line? Do less (at a time), and get more done!
Acknowledge what you’ve accomplished
Sometimes, achieving success can feel like an ongoing battle. There’s always further to go, and more to do, which is why it’s important to give yourself credit where it’s due.
At the end of each day, write down 3 things you’ve achieved. It could be anything from completing a first draft to finishing a major project.
If you don’t feel like you got much actual work done, include positive actions such as ‘made co-worker laugh so hard he dropped yogurt all over himself.’ It’s been proven that happiness can lead to success, after all.