Last week in Improve Your Productivity: Part 1, we explained how to improve your workspace environment. This week we will speak about time management.
Have you ever felt that your workload is just too much, making your stress levels rise to the sky? Do you often find your work pile up on your desk making you lose motivation?
The trick is to organise your workload and effectively manage your time. This will help you reduce your stress levels and help keep you on track. So what is time management?
Time management is the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively. It is a skill that takes time to learn and develop, and varies from person to person.
Here are some great time management strategies that will help you improve your productivity through managing your time effectively.
1. Schedule your time
When you wake up in the morning, plan a ‘To Do’ list. This will help split your time up during the day to focus on different tasks. This idea of planning makes it much easier to stay on track with your workload.
A good idea is to invest in a notebook or diary to write down the tasks you have to do daily. Make three lists: work, home and personal, to even better manage your time.
Always be sure to set realistic time frames. You don’t want to schedule too many tasks into a couple of hours as that will drain you out and demotivate you.
Take note: Be realistic with your scheduling.
2. Set goals and objectives
Setting daily and monthly goals and objectives are key to optimising your productivity. Write down your goals and objectives on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall where you will see them. By visually seeing your goals, you will be reminded of them and won’t stray away from them.
Take note: There are many goal vision boards available on Pinterest where you can find some inspiration for creating your own.
3. Focus on one task at a time
We are so busy that we have adopted the multi-tasking habits in order to get things done. However, multi-tasking is not always a great strategy to keep when wanting to improve your productivity. If we are completing various tasks at the same time, you’ll become confused, lose focus, and hence your productivity levels aren’t up to scratch.
Focus on one task at a time. Once you finish a task, tick it off and move onto the next. This is the most effective way to get things done. A ‘to do’ list is especially helpful for this since you can work your way down the list, ticking them off as you go.
4. Break large tasks into smaller segments
Ever had a huge task to do, look at it and say “nope”, then put it down? Large tasks can cause us to go astray because the workload is so intense.
A great hack to lessen the initial shock is to break large tasks into smaller, manageable segments. This makes it easier to get through, and is also great psychologically because once you complete a small segment, you’ll think “yes! I did it”. On the other hand, if you didn’t break that large task down, you’ll be spending hours and hours on it and it just becomes demotivating overtime because you’ll feel like you haven’t gotten any progress.
Take note: Divide large tasks into smaller tasks to make it more manageable, physically and emotionally.
5. Take regular breaks
Always schedule breaks when you are planning your tasks throughout the day. Taking regular breaks to refuel yourself is a must when improving your productivity. Clear your mind for a bit and then come back to a fresh slate and get working.
6. Build a rewards system
A rewards system is a great motivator for you to complete your tasks. Before you start your day, brief through what you have to do and plan your rewards.
For example, if you complete this pile of work, you can go down to the café and grab a large coffee and a pastry. If you complete task b, you can have a date night with your significant other. These incentives help motivate you to get the job done.
Do you have any time management tips to help improve productivity? Share them in the comments below.
Next week we will discuss how to improve your workflow! Stay tuned!