How To Be More Productive
Wasting time is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate it when people say they don’t have time to do this or they are short of time to do that, when I know they waste time. How much time do you waste if you think honestly about it? I’m not saying you have to be on the go all the time, but it’s good to be efficient with your time and get things done, especially if it’s chores or things you don’t really want to do. That way they will be done and dusted out of the way and you can focus on more relaxing or enjoyable activities.
People are often amazed about how much I take on and how much I achieve with my time, but I try and pride myself on getting things done quickly and efficiently so I can spend time doing things that I want to do, like chilling out with my husband, going to see friends and family or even getting out and about trying different activities.
I thought it might make for a good post to share how I plan out my time efficiently and also how I eliminate wasted time so that I can make sure I have plenty of time to do the things that I want to do.
When you are at your job. Work hard and work smart. There’s no point being the last one in the office every night if you are just sitting there doing your job inefficiently. Whilst you are there, work hard on getting all your tasks and objectives completed within your allocated working day and once they are done and your working day is over, go home and do something else. It’s better to work a hard, honest day and leave yourself time to have a social life or spend it with your family than work inefficiently as many hours as you can. An employee who is well-rested and has a good work/life balance will produce better results than one who works long hours into the evening and resents the time away from their friends and family. If that means being a bit ruthless whilst you are at work, do it. No one will mind you excusing yourself from the kitchen chit chat if you’ve got things to do or even putting your headphones in to help make yourself less distracted and a little bit more productive. I always feel a sense of achievement if I work hard, get everything done and leave work at a time that suits my evening plans.
Don’t waste time scrolling endlessly through social media feeds or watching pointless YouTUbe videos. We all need some downtime, but make sure it’s just in small bitesize chunks. If you are wasting hours a day scrolling through other people’s Instagram photos, you are seriously missing out. Just think of all the things you could be doing with that spare time if you added it up. I know some people who are terrible for this. They never have time to do anything, but they are the first people to like a social media post. This must mean they are constantly on their phones. If you are tempted, leave your phone in another room or tell yourself you won’t look at it until you’ve done X.
No Perfection Necessary
When you are carrying out tasks, do them to the best of your ability and until the job is done, but ask yourself, does this job need to be perfect? If you are a surgeon or a perhaps rewiring your house, the answer is yes, but a lot of jobs can be done to a high standard without being perfect. For example, cleaning your kitchen. Is it clean, is it tidy? If the answer is yes, great. Don’t waste time lining up the cans in the cupboard when no one will see them. Also have a plan which leads to maximum efficiencies, like cleaning top down. There’s no point hoovering the kitchen floor before you’ve cleaned the work surfaces. You’ll only have to do it again. Know when a job is good enough and stop. Then move on to the next task in hand.
Have A Plan
I always think that having a plan helps massively when it comes to being productive. A list of things I want to achieve by a certain point in the day. That way you can work through the list in a methodical order. I always tackle the things I least want to do first, so I know the day will get easier as it goes on. I also always have a list, whether that’s on my phone, my computer or written on a piece of paper. Ticking things off a list is really satisfying and will keep you motivated. You could use an app on your phone, Trello is a great online tool or even get yourself a list on Google Docs, that way you can access it from anywhere.
All work and no play makes for a dull person. How true that is. You don’t want to spend your whole life just doing things to maximum productivity. Make sure you have time to relax and enjoy that time you freed up. Also, don’t throw spontaneity out of the window. Embrace it, just make sure if you have something you need to do after, that you get it done. Procrastination is no-one’s friend. It’s the thief of time and one of the best things to avoid when looking at how to be more productive. Often the thought of doing something is worse than actually doing it.
Do you find yourself doing things that actually make no difference? If so, you need to question why you are doing it and who is benefitting? Often at work, I find colleagues of mine spending hours doing reports which they have later found out that no-one reads anymore. In my home life, I stopped doing the ironing about 10 years ago, I found that it made no difference to my clothes and I can accept having crumpled bed sheets. Life is too short and I’d rather spend that spare hour or two relaxing in the bath or reading a book.
Do One Thing At A Time
It’s a common misconception that you’ll get more done if you multitask. In some situations that is true, you often can’t complete complex work tasks in one hit, so breaking it down and doing as much as you can in one hit is a good way of handling tasks like this. But if something can be completed in one hit, then you should focus purely on achieving that one thing and once you have, move on to the next. If you try to juggle too many things, you’ll end up just tiring out your brain and you’ll probably make mistakes along the way.
Look At Your Space
Another tip on how to be more productive is to look at your space. You can be much more effective if you have the right environment and all the tools you need around you. If you are in an office environment, then keep your desk clear of clutter and any essential notes or stationery you need nearby. That way you can focus on the job in hand. If you are constantly looking through piles of paper, you will be wasting time. Also, who feels they are more productive in a zen environment. I sure do!
Know Your Own Mind
It’s important to do things at the best time if you can. I know that I’m much more productive first thing in the morning and so save complex or creative tasks for the morning. After lunch, I feel a bit sluggish for an hour or so, so I save easier jobs for this time. Know when you work best and plan your most challenging tasks around this time. That way you are less like to procrastinate with the things that you really don’t want to do. I hope this post helps you identify ways you can stop wasting time and be more productive. Do you have any other tips you would add to the list above? I’d love to know what you think about how to be more productive.
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