You sure are a busy gal. Between balancing school, work, friends, and family it’s no wonder you want to pull your hair out sometimes! Juggling so many different responsibilities can be exhausting and you’re probably wishing that there were about seventy-five more hours in a day–we know we do.
While we may not have figured out how to make that miracle happen just yet, we do have some tips on how to maximize your productivity within the hours you do have. Carry on.
1. Know where your time goes. Have you ever sat down, just you and your laptop and tried to commit to getting as much work done as possible, and well, failed? You are not alone. For a couple days, try writing down exactly what you’re doing when you’re trying to get work done. You’ll be surprised how much time you spend surfing the web, texting and checking emails instead of actually working. Knowing where your time goes is important because it can help you decide what distractions to eliminate, which brings us to our next tip.
2. Eliminate distractions. A little background music can be helpful but you probably do not want to try to get work done in a place that is incredibly noisy and has tons of movement and commotion in the background. Each distraction is one more thing that keeps you from accomplishing your task.
3. Work in intervals. Try working for about 45 minutes and then doing something non-work related for about 15 minutes. Then repeat. Your brain will be able to focus and get a lot more done if it knows that it has a break to look forward to!
4. Make a plan. By making a plan for what you need to accomplish for the next day or week you are providing yourself with some structure and some general direction. It can be easier to keep yourself focused when you know exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Using a planner can help you accomplish this.
5. Prioritize. Is there something on your list that is not immediate or pressing? If there is, you may want to leave it off of your list and get it done at a better time. You’ll want to tackle the things that are the most important first and prioritize by importance after that.
6. Set aside time. You probably get a lot of phone calls and emails through the day. Sometimes these can be overwhelming and it can be hard to respond to everyone, but high-five for being super important! Set aside specific times of the day where you filter through these. Respond to the most important ones first. Everything else can wait until you next scheduled time.
7. Become familiar with the word “no.” Learning to say “no” might be one of the best things you can do for yourself. By taking on projects for others you decrease the amount of time that you have for yourself to get things accomplished. Saying “no” is a way of being respectful of your own time. Don’t feel bad, others will understand.
Getting more work done in less time is a goal for just about everyone. Pick out your favorites and give some of our helpful hints a try. They’re sure to turn you into a lean, mean, productive machine!