We only have 24 hours in a day.
Some days that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough and other days it can feel entirely too long. Whichever way your day happens to go, there are five things you can do to improve your productivity and set your success on fire!
Here are 6 tips to improve your productivity:
- Schedule your day/reflect in the evening
A great way to make sure you get stuff done is to write down WHAT you are going to do! Take five minutes in the morning to write down the 3-4 most important tasks you need to get done that day. But don’t stop there, once you have recorded what you are going to do, write down WHEN you are going to do it.
Keep that task and time as you would any other appointment. You wouldn’t skip your business meeting, doctor’s appointment, or the movie you pre-paid for (the perfect seat: 8th row up, middle of the theater, reclines). At the end of the day, take another 5-10 minutes to reflect on how your day went: what went well, how could you improve. When you know what to repeat and what to change, plan what you will need to do tomorrow.
Planning and reflecting on your day will allow you to use your time more effectively and keep you pushing toward your goals.
- Focus your tasks on your goals
When you plan your day by listing your most important tasks, make sure those tasks are getting you closer to your goals. If your goal is to make $1000 more in sales you need to set the task of reaching out to 10 potential clients, follow-up with current clients, and make 25 new connections on social media.
What is the point of using your valuable time (a non-renewable resource) on things that don’t bring you closer to the life you want to live?
- Use a Pomodoro Timer
Let me introduce you to the Pomodoro timer! This is a timer that helps you focus on tasks. You set it for how long you would like to focus on a task then it breaks that time into segments with built-in breaks. For example, with writing this blog post, I schedule it to take one hour or 4 Pomodoros.
My Pomodoro time is set for 15-minute segments with 5-minute breaks between each segment. I have a total of an hour’s work time and 20 minutes of break. There are several free Pomodoro apps that you can use. These allow you to schedule tasks and set the length of your Pomodoro and breaks.
With continued use, your brain gets used to focusing in that amount of time and begins to use that time more efficiently allowing you to get more done – and done well!- in that time.
- Avoid multi-tasking
As much as we think we are good at multi-tasking, we really aren’t. The task may get done, but did it get done well and in any less time than if you would have just focused on each task individually? Probably not.
Take your time with each task. Give it the attention it deserves. And get it done! You will save yourself time and be even closer to achieving your goals.
- Done. Not Perfect.
One of the biggest productivity blockers is the idea that we have to have everything done perfectly. Work done is better than perfect work because it means you are making progress. All work can be edited, tweaked, changed, or scraped. But you only know what changes you need to make when you put your work out there and receive feedback. That leads to lessons learned and even better quality work.
Don’t hold yourself back for the unachievable idea of perfection. Get it done so you can move on and improve.
Practice being productive everyday. This is not an overnight solution but a long-term plan to make sure you have sustained success. Take the time to plan and reflect on your day, make sure your tasks are goal-oriented, use a timer to keep you focused and on task – one task at a time, and go for done, not perfect. You don’t learn from perfect and you don’t make progress when you don’t complete your work.
Practice these five techniques consistently to achieve your peak productivity!
Guest post written by Amanda Griesbaum of Amanda Griesbaum Public Relations.