Today's busy world makes serious demands on our time. During the same time that we're expected to get everything done, there are more issues that need to be resolved, errands that need to be completed, and events to attend. How do you squeeze it all in and still get any rest and free time? By boosting personal productivity. These five tips will help get you started on the road to more free time fast.
- Time tracking to optimize your flow. Put a notepad or text window up and track how much time you're spending on email, talking to coworkers, checking your social media feed or going on break. Then try to consolidate that time into small chunks a few times a day. Instead of checking email every 20 minutes, check it every couple hours for 15 minutes and reply to any important issues.
- Work when you're at your best. Do you have a 2:00 slump? Don't try to force yourself to work through the tough times. Figure out what part of your day is the most productive and set aside a block of time for your tough work at that point, and you'll be surprised how much you can get done in such a short time period.
- Stop for a productive break. Start working for a set time period, such as an hour or two, then stop for a brief break. But instead of goofing off, switch tasks to a quick-kill project, such as walking over to another office for a progress report or picking up a print job. A little success motivates you to get more done.
- Eliminate distractions. My worst habit is checking email or social media while I'm on a project. It's easy to stop for "just a moment" to check something, and suddenly a half hour has passed. Don't allow yourself to do this more than a couple times a day to keep your flow going. The same goes for chatty coworkers. Ask them if you can talk to them over lunch because you're in the middle of a project at the moment.
- Change up your location. Do you work best at your desk with the buzz of coworkers around? Does a quieter location help you get your thoughts in order? Could a little outdoor time help with the after-lunch slump? Try changing your location to one that promotes productivity.
By keeping these time saving tips in mind, you can make sure you have plenty of time for the important things in life instead of getting bogged down in the details. Start with the one that is easiest to implement, then with the time you've freed up, add another. You'll find yourself getting more done in less time fast.