I have too many things to do and too few hours in the day in which to do them. How can I make the most of my day?
We all tend to stretch our actions into the time frame we allot to them, so having more time in your day, isn’t really going to give you what you are after.
3 steps to getting more done regardless of how busy your day is:
1. Crunch the time container… serious!
Think about the times you are most productive at work, chances are it’s either to meet a deadline or just before you are going on leave.
To simulate these efficient periods, allocate a specific time frame to get the full or part of a task actioned, set the timer and work to beat the clock. This self-created sense of urgency helps you to buckle down and focus on the important things while minimising on welcomed distractions.
2. Work in ‘pockets of time’
Remember your school timetable/roster? Well, just like it used to help you know what class you were meant to be in when, think of the weekly blueprint as the big person’s version to help you stay on track.
Focusing on ‘pockets of time’ will prevent you from wasting precious minutes wondering what you should be doing when. You can further minimise distractions by taking the phone off the hook and deactivating all automatic email receipt notifications.
3. Never check email in the morning
It’s common practice to check email first thing in the morning; we use this as the springboard of our day, jumping from one reactive email to the next. And while you do need to check your email periodically during the day, reserve the first hour (power hour) of your day for high value high focus tasks instead of the quick and easy.
Note: Before you leave the office at the end of the day, take a moment to decide what task you’ll be tackling first thing the following morning. Then, leave the office, have a break, refresh and never, ever, ever, take work home with you.