Small Changes, Big Creativity
If you find yourself struggling against the tide, trying to catch up, a small shift in your daily habit may create just the time you need. Here are a few ideas.
Start the day before with a to do list for the next day. If you spend the last half hour at work preparing for the next day, you'll start fresh with a plan and not have to spend the morning getting organized. Have a file for all the paperwork that is related to the next day's activities and get in the habit of putting tasks there for easy location later.
Figure out what time of the day is most productive for you. Some people are more productive in the early morning, others right after lunch or in the late afternoon. Your most productive time could be anywhere on the clock, the key is to identify that time. Use this time to do your most difficult or challenging tasks.
Instead of taking the usual 15 - 20 minute breaks every 3 or 4 hours, try taking more breaks! By taking a short (5 minute) break away from your desk every hour you give your eyes a rest away from the computer screen, your body a change in posture and your mind a time to drift for a bit. This can greatly increase your productivity when you sit back down.
Identify those tasks that seem to waste time. For many people phone calls and answering email seem to take more time than necessary. To optimize your time,set aside specific times during the day to return calls and answer emails. Be ruthless with yourself and stick to the plan. This will limit the number of interuptions in your day and keep the time you spend on these tasks to a productive minimum.
Better yet, save telephone calls when you are stuck waiting in line! Anytime you can do two things at once you are saving time. If you are taking a plane trip, take a few of your files or laptop with you and take care of minor tasks while you are in the air or waiting on the flight, many airports now have wireless internet access.
Schedule specific tasks for yourself. You may have regular Monday morning meetings with the boss, use the same mentality when looking at things you do on a regular basis. Do you have a report that must be done each week? Schedule a specific "meeting with yourself" to get the task done without interruptions.
Having good time management skills can make the difference in your day. Make your focus on acheiving results. When you make better use of your day you'll find that you feel more in charge of your day and your level of productivity increases. You'll be able to avoid staying late at work and you'll gain greater satisfaction at the end of the day.