1. Make a List
Writing a to-do list is key for a more productive and focused day. On days when I create a list, I accomplish so much more than on days when I don’t. Lists are incredibly helpful because they focus your attention on what tasks must be done. Over time, I’ve learnt how to write lists that are a lot more practical. Instead of writing one with a huge amount of tasks to achieve, which is simply daunting to look at, make the list more manageable. It’s essential to be realistic about what you can do in a day; never-ending to-do lists can result in procrastination and even exhaustion.
Being able to prioritise is vital for good time management. All you need to do is look at the tasks on your to-do list and put them in order of importance. In the past, I’ve looked at my list of things to do and decided to carry out the most exciting tasks first. Never do this! Your list should be based on how soon you need something done, not what you’d prefer. And anyway, if you tackle the tasks you dread the most first thing in the morning, then you’ll be left with more time for the ones you enjoy.
3. Set Time Limits
It’s always a good idea to give yourself limits for how long you take on each task. This method is very effective as it helps keep you determined and focused, which is most likely because of that sense of urgency it gives you. Plus, setting time frames will make you more self disciplined and greatly improve your time management skills.
4. Avoid Distractions
This one is super important! I don’t know about you, but for me, I find social media very distracting. I’m not much of a Facebook girl, but I can spend hours and hours scrolling through Twitter or pinning away on Pinterest. The best way to deal with this is to put your phone on silent and leave it on the other side of the room. They say “out of sight, out of mind” for a reason! If you find that your emails popping up distract you, then close it down; usually, emails don’t need replying to straight away. Instead, set a time to go through them everyday.
5. Take Breaks
When you’ve got a lot of work to do, it can be way too easy to be sat at your desk all day long. However, this is the quickest way to burnout. There’s no point allowing yourself to get to this stage as you’ll be stressed out and the opposite of productive. That’s why it’s important to schedule some time for breaks. Why not spend some time with a loved one, unwind with a book or take a short walk around your local park for some fresh air? Often, once you’ve taken some time out you’ll be left feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day.
These tips are all very simple to do and have helped me massively. Try them out and I’m sure they’ll make you more productive!
Do you have any other tips for being more productive?