Staying productive is a challenge for many people. Here are some ways to make better use of your time.
1. Chunk your time
Instead of going off of your laundry list of things to do, just set aside a certain amount of time for each task. Dedicate fifteen minutes to responding to emails, thirty minutes to that proposal you need to write, and so on. This tactic can be used at home as well. If you feel like you’re doing endless house or yard work, dedicate an amount of time to something instead working until your goal is complete.
2. Don’t constantly check your email
Checking email is a giant time-suck. Try to only check your email at specific times. Turn off automatic email notifications so you aren’t tempted to check it every time an email flies in.
3. Make your schedule work for you
Are you a morning person? Plan to do your hardest tasks in the morning. Around 3 pm do you find yourself slowing down? Plan to do mindless tasks during this time. Everyone is different and you have to figure out when and how you work best to be your most productive self.
4. Use deadlines well
You don’t have to be assigned a deadline to give yourself one. If you’ve had something on your to-do list for many days, or even weeks, this is a great trick. Give yourself a deadline for almost everything you do. If you have a hard time staying disciplined, ask a coworker to hold you accountable. You will get more done and feel better about it.
5. Put your phone in a box
Let’s face it, phones can be terribly distracting. Spend a couple hours of the workday with your phone off, or in a place you can’t see it.
6. Tidy up your desk
Cleaning up your desk will really help your efficiency. If you’re having a hard time focusing it’s also a great way to take a little break and refocus. It makes more room and it might even help clear your mind. Throw away anything you don’t need, hide those cords, and wipe off surfaces. Consider keeping fewer things on top of your desk, and making sure they are in places that are convenient.