It’s the end of the year and business activity doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Many times I find myself waking up early in the morning, working on a per second basis but unable to say for certain what I have achieved by the end of the day.
My mind is tired and I feel compelled to go in several directions all at the same time. Something has to give! I need to shift from this busy as a bee mindset to become productive like Richard Branson! So here are 5 things I have found that have helped me amp up my productivity in measurable and not so tiring ways
Prioritize– the key to time management is to prioritize. I have learnt that there are a million things I should do but really only a few things I have to do. Time management is about sacrifice. Sacrifice your time watching your favorite show so you can get at least 6 hours of sleep and have a sharp mind ahead of tomorrow’s presentation. Say no to that really exciting project because you can barely manage all the competing priories on your plate. Forego sitting in that meeting because it really doesn’t add anything to your KPI Yup! It will suck and it might hurt a little but if you want to be productive, saying no, unless you really have the time, is something you must do- constantly.
Group similar tasks together– A friend once told me that she only checked and responded to emails at specific times of the day. I thought it was funny, but now I completely see the reason behind it. Checking your emails every 5 minutes (unless you are waiting for something specific) is definitely not productive. To maximize productivity assign specific times in the day for certain tasks- i.e. returning calls, replying to emails, filing, report writing.
Its always best to group these things together and get them out of the way instead of inserting them into every minute of your day.
Make a to do list with timelines– I have started a habit of writing my to-do –list immediately after my morning devotion. Some experts actually suggest that it’s better to do it the night before. An extra thing I have learnt is to actually assign realistic timescales to each activity and task. Proposal writing- 9-12pm. Approving content- 12pm- 2pm. Create Content for X client 2pm- 4pm…etc. The great thing about this is you not only see how long it actually takes to execute certain tasks but you begin to value your time even more and are quick to notice when its being wasted on something mundane or unimportant.
Take short breaks often- Man no be machine! Staring at your computer for hours on end doesn’t only fatigue you mentally, it can also cause considerable strain on your eyes. Short breaks of 10-15 minutes, can help you recharge and refuel. However, make sure you don’t over indulge- a 15 minute break shouldn’t turn into a 2 hour conversation with a friend.
Delegate, delegate and super delegate- delegating tasks not only improves your productivity but also increases the ability of your team. Many times our inability to delegate is more about the need to remain in control. Accept that you cant control everything and that if you want to get things done, other people may have to chip in here and there. Yeah, you might have to do quite a lot of corrections at the start but as things proceed, you may find that those around you pick things up and give you room to do the important stuff.
Remove distractions– be brutal with distractions. From social media, tv, phone calls, to non priority work masquerading itself as relevant- remove all. The thing about distractions is that we actually enjoy them and sometimes use them (on purpose) to avoid doing difficult and/or critical work. But if you want to maximize your productivity…they gotta go!
What about you? How are you ramping up your productivity? Have you tried any of these tips? Did they work? Holla in the comments section