Work is something we all have on our plates, and with 24/7 access via mobile phones and email, it can feel like you spent an entire day (and night) accomplishing very little. Sometimes you may only be able to assess your output by the number of emails you sent or the number of meetings you attended. So when you feel that you’ve just been working a lot, but can’t quite say what you accomplished – productivity is key. Read on for 4 lifehacks that will up your productivity (and lower your working hours).
- Map your work – I know, it’s not a sexy one, but it’s important to plan ahead. By looking at the day you have in front of you, or the week, month, quarter you’re giving your brain an understanding of what’s on the docket. This will let you make sure you’re aligned with your current personal or project goals consistently so you can stay focused.
- Schedule your time – Organizing your time allows for real work to get done. Rather than having free hours in your day, block out time for the tasks you’d like to complete during those times. Test out different periods of time that work for you – for some you may only be able to focus for 10 minutes at a time, others, 45 minutes. When you start a task session, fully commit for those 10-45 minutes. You’ll start to sense a balance as to how long you can really pay attention to one task. Leave gaps between task sessions to handle items that require less focused attention.
- Prioritize to-dos – This is similar to planning ahead, but a little more granular. Not only is it important to have a broad picture of your personal and professional goals, but your daily to-do list should be prioritized by what is critical and what is important. Obviously, everything on your to-do list is important, but some items truly cannot wait past today. Distinguishing between the two will allow you to focus on what matters most today.
- Break out – As much as focus is important, so is lack of focus. Give yourself time before, during and after the work day to truly unwind. That may be a few minutes of looking at puppies, taking up a quick meditation or shutting off your phone after work hours so you can really step away from the office and rejuvenate.
Hope these help you get more done, faster, so you can have more time for fun things!