As someone who wears many hats, I find I don’t always have enough time in the day to get eveything done, as much as I’d like to. Sometimes my productivity suffers due to my desire to find the best possible solution to a problem. Sounds familiar?

So, given my lack of time during the day, and my long list of things to do, I sought solutions to my problem. I know I can’t extend the time in the day. And I know there’re things I can’t (or would rather not) sacrifice at the moment, like someone else looking after my child… SO, here’s what I do to increase my productivity:

Tip #1 Choose the right time

Nearly everyone has times of the day when they are most effective and times when they tend to drag. My prime time is early morning, and I usually drag late afternoons. I schedule the most critical tasks for my most effective time of the day, i.e morning. I’m up at 6am to work, and I finish at 9.30am when my little one is up and wanting my attention. From then on, I’m mummy! 

clock-timer-316388__340

Tip #2 Make A Daily List 

Before I knock off for the day, I write down my TO-DO list and what I want to accomplish the following day. With a sense of direction, I feel energized to get up the following morning because I know what tasks are waiting for me. With my limited time, I’ll spend it getting things done!

Having said that, I know daily lists can be good IF you know how to use them. The trick is not to spend too much time on this otherwise you waste valuable time. I can write my list for the following day while I work on today’s task. I just make sure I don’t spend too much time writing.

Tip #3 Eliminate all distraction

When I’m working, I usually turn off my cell phone, and I don’t check my emails for that period. Social media is off too. This works for me, with the time I work and the type of work I do. I know I can be easily distracted by a friend’s call, or email so I’ll focus on the task at hand, without distractions. I’ve seen some people display a sign, “Do not disturb,” – way to go! Do it if necessary. You don’t have to do this for all your tasks, but at least during the more difficult or tasks that require all your attention.

do-not-disturb-board-728530__340

Tip #4 Toss it

If a task doesn’t really need to be done, I get rid of it altogether. IF it needs doing but doesn’t really need me, tip 5 is my answer.

Tip #5 DELEGATE some of the work

Is there anyone else who can help? The people around us are resources. When appropriate, use their time and talents wisely to get things done more quickly. Instead of doing everything myself, l let others help where they can. As long as it’s not something I have to do myself.
delegate-1971230__340

Tip #6 Avoid procrastination

We all try and avoid the unpleasant or uninteresting tasks, but the sooner we do them, and get them out of the way, the better we’ll feel. I try and get the bad stuff out of the way as soon as I can. And believe me, I’m more productive when I’ve cleared uninteresting tasks.

Tip #7 Set a timer or deadline

Having a specific endpoint really helps me focus my time and energy. If a task doesn’t feel necessary, chances are that it won’t get done. But if I set a deadline for it, then I’ll force myself to do it.

A time limit also helps me concentrate and work better too, especially with social media. I find I can go for hours on facebook/Instagram/pinterest/twitter but with a time limit, I’m more focused. For a task that may take hours, starting will seem easier if I simply give myself 30 minutes to get as much done as I can.

dont-miss-the-deadline-481478__340

Tip #8 Batch similar tasks together

If you’ve ever received an email from me, it’s usually been early morning or late at night (depending where you’re)! I do all my emailing at once, and that’s usually first thing in the morning (so I can add any items to my To-DO list IF necessary) or in the evening before I set goals for the following day. UNLESS I’m working on a project that needs me to check emails regularly, I follow this routine.

I make all my phone calls once during the day. And it’s usually when my little one is taking a nap after lunch. By then I’ll be missing adult conversations if we haven’t been out so I’ll either talk to a friend OR make that call to a client. And there won’t be any interruptions too.

I check my social media in the morning – it’s part of my work so it gets checked/updated between 6-9.30am.

I find I waste less time by doing things this way.

Tip #9 Set targets

Sometimes I work around my target and it helps me immensely. IF say I need to finish off a job for a client, usually I won’t stop till it’s done. Even if it’s not super urgent, but as long as I set a target I work towards it. If say you need to make cold-calls for your sales job, perhaps setting a target will help. Regardless of what happens, refuse to stop until you hit your target.

Tip #10 Use the Pareto Principle

This principle states that 20% of the actions you could take will provide you with 80% of the benefits. So focus on the tasks that will accomplish the most. Unfortunately, I found these are frequently the tasks that are not enjoyable. You might be surprised how little you really have to do if you focus on the critical 20%.

pareto-principle-image

Tip #11 Increase speed

It sounds silly, but this can really help. I try doing everything a little faster. Because I don’t have enough time in the day to do a lot of work, I have to work faster, type faster, read faster. For fun, we took a speed-reading course at my other job a few years ago and what I learnt has come in handy since.

Tip #12 Take advantage of Technology

With technology nowadays, you can accomplish so much in a short period of time. I always take advantage of technology by using Apps/Tools that save me time but are also effective. Some might view it as being lazy, I see it as being creative and productive. Instead of posting on social media daily, I use apps that allow me to schedule my posts in advance. My To-Do list is electronic and I get reminders as/when I need. Saves me lots of time!

techno

Since I implemented these tips into my life, I’ve found myself getting more done in less time. The ultimate secret is to stay on task and not waste any time. These rules help me do just that.

Found these useful? How do you stay productive? Would love to hear your thoughts/tips/suggestions..

 

If you find you struggle following some tips but would love to, please check out my other post on the relationship between habit and determination to find out how your determination will help you build a new habit.

#teeshares #beproductive #stayontrack

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Increasing Productivity: 12 Tips that Keep Me on Task

  1. I find making my todo list, actually writing it, the night before is a key to success the next day. I often do a little cheat and have the first thing on the list something that is already done. Start the day with a feeling of accomplishment.

    Like

    • Lol, Iittle ones can be a distraction! They’re too cute to ignore sometimes. I can only get away from it by working while mine’s asleep, that way I don’t give in to the distaction. It doesn’t always work that way though, lol.

      Like

  2. I have always been a terrible procrastinator, but it is something I have been working on lately. I have also been working on getting up earlier, because I am more productive in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear from another mama who works that way too! Without setting deadlines work can pile up, ey! I have to set deadlines a lot to get things done otherwise little one takes all my time lol

      Like

  3. These are great tips! On Tuesday I made myself a long to-do list, and one of my to-dos was to sort my inbox into “work on now, file, delegate, work on later.” The fact that you’ve included delegate in here has inspired me to conquer that task first thing this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear Brittany! Yeah we seem to miss Delegate sometimes, thinking we can do it all but other people like to help too, if they can! Good on you sorting your mailbox, it’s a big task… Thanks for sharing too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Coming to you live from the procrastination kingdom, witness the queen (aka me!) I’m so excited about using some of these tips to stay on task. I’m definitely guilty of getting home from work and being excited about getting something done, in turn to only end up on Netflix or watching a movie on iTunes because I can do it tomorrow. There aren’t enough tomorrows for what I want to do, I need to get it done today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG, loved reading your comment. Not only coz it’s funny but I can totally relate – this was me a few months ago but I turned it around after procrastinating for looong! Thinking about it, TV was behind my “leaving it for tomorrow”. You’re right, “there aren’t enough tomorrows…” Thanks for stopping by. All the best with turning things around – I’ll be cheering from afar! lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome tips! I love having a list of things to accomplish. It keeps me on track and it feels so satisfying when I get to check off the items! I’m currently trying to get better at batching. I’d like to be able to dedicate one or two days to getting a month’s blog posts done in advance. It’s a challenge but I know it will be so worth it. Thanks for sharing your ideas. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t we all love it when we check items off our To-Do Lists, lol! It’s a great feeling knowing you’re getting things done… Re blog posts, I totally get and ecourage you to do just that (writing them in advance). It’s a challenge you’ll again feel satisfied once accomplished. Good luck with that. And thanks for your comments/feedback 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s