“Work smarter, not harder.”
Time management is a huge factor in working smarter. It doesn’t matter how much motivation you have.. If you can’t learn how to optimize your time, you will always be working harder.
Here are the two scenarios..
1. You are super driven and motivated. You want to get a million things done in a day. You have so much on your mind that you can’t decide what to do first. So, you spend a lot of time twiddling your thumbs trying to figure out what’s next. Or, you go back and forth between tasks more than you should, and you get whiplash from running around everywhere.
2. You aren’t naturally motivated. If you don’t have to do it, you won’t. You prefer to chill and not do much, so when you do decide to give your time to something, you want it to mean something.
Either way, people want to make the most out of their efforts. So this blog post is all about directing those efforts into something useful and productive, so you can be able to move onto the next task or return to the couch as soon as possible. Let’s dive right in..
Having to-do lists. These lists are essential for differentiating what’s most important, remembering all the tasks you need to complete, planning, and staying motivated to cross things off the list.
Planning ahead of time. Planning is literally the most important factor of being time efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis..
- Goals for the week: What I’d be proud of myself for accomplishing at the end of a week. How am I going to get these done?
- Tasks for the week: What I have to do and when.
- Daily tasks and schedule: More detailed schedule of what I’m going to do and when.
- Content calendars: These are the major “projects” that I work with, but you can adapt this to whatever job you have.
Creating outlines. Especially if you work in the social media world, this is essential. Have outlines written for your blog posts ahead of time. Have a basic format/background to the photos that you post on Instagram.. Again, you can adapt this to whatever you work with. Basically just have a guideline of the components that you want the project to have.
Eliminating distractions. You hear this all the time, but for a good reason. If you’re playing on Facebook, talking to your co-workers, staring at the wall.. You aren’t getting anything done. Don’t procrastinate, it’s going to have to be done eventually.
Have time limited tasks. Maybe you don’t have a boss telling you when a project is due, but you should be giving yourself those guidelines. Having a deadline gives you a timeline with a specific amount of effort involved to get it done. If you don’t have any goals, you will most likely take 2 times as long as you could, just because you don’t feel like you have to.
Do the most important thing first. Doing the most important thing first allows you to have all the time that you need to complete that task without the rush.
Don’t try to multitask. Like I said, trying to do a million things at once is harder because you have to switch gears and think differently about each small project. Just knock out one at a time, so you don’t have to catch yourself back up.
Do things ahead of time. Rushed = poor quality. That’s all I’ll say about that.
Frequently assess what’s working and what’s not. Something that may work one day, may not work the next. Be able to learn what works best for you in that moment, and then adapt. It’s not a “one size fits all” situation.
Figure out how to motivate yourself when you don’t want to work. Even if you are the most motivated person on the planet, you won’t be on your best game every single day. There will be times where you just won’t want to do it – so figure out your game plan for convincing yourself to pull through. I always say “If I finish ___, then I can do ____.”
Take breaks. Taking breaks still improves your productivity. Think of yourself as a battery. It needs to recharge to be able to work efficiently. Have a 5-10 minute break every 2 hours. Take your eyes off the computer, drink some water, grab a snack, take a little walk.. Give yourself a refresher.
Fuel yourself efficiently. I’ve been the girl who shows up rushed and running in at the last minute with no sleep, the monster I drank that had so much caffeine I was shaking, no breakfast, etc. That’s NOT the way to go. Sleep a good amount, eat before you come to work, wake up early and get some exercise to put your body and brain in motion, etc. You will thank yourself later. The productivity difference is shocking when you are fueled correctly.
Alright, so there are all my tips for staying super productive in the workplace. These are all habits that I’ve adopted over the years, meaning I did not do them before. I used to be a freaking mess. But being prepared and planning have made the world of a difference!
Planning is literally the most important factor of being time-efficient. Having a plan gives you direction for the day. You aren’t guessing what to do next or doing things out of order because you already know what needs to be done and when. Planning can look different for everyone, but here are most of the things that I like to plan on a very regular basis..