Looking for ways to get more done in less time? Learn how to work smarter, not harder, with these 10 productivity tips.
- Commit to a Time Management System.
If you’re not using that fancy new time management software you bought, it’s probably not the right one for you. There are a lot of great time management tools available, so take the time to do some research and find one that fits your work style. Some people swear by their trusty PDAs, while others prefer paper systems.
- Touch It Once.
You’ve heard this one before, but it bears repeating. Touch a piece of paper only once and then move on. Deal with each piece of paper by taking action on it. Pay the bill, file the document, delegate the work or throw it out.
- Finish Tough Tasks First.
Set aside time at the beginning of your day to work on your most important or difficult project. You’ll set a productive tone for the rest of the day and avoid procrastination.
- Do One Thing at a Time.
Multi-tasking is overrated. Concentrate your full attention on the task at hand. You’ll get better results in less time.
- Eliminate Distractions.
Checking email, responding to instant messages and answering phone calls can quickly get you off track. Try to tune these things out so you can accomplish everything on your to-do list.
- Schedule Your Telephone Calls.
Don’t grab the phone every time it rings. Set aside specific times to schedule phone meetings and to return calls.
- Consolidate Appointments.
Schedule appointments only in the morning, afternoon or on certain days of the week. Group nearby appointments together to cut out travel time.
- Leverage Down Time.
Always carry work or reading material with you. That way you’ll always have something to do if you find unexpected downtime.
- Work at Peak.
Identify the times of day when you work best. Use this time to focus on your most challenging or important assignments.
- Take Time to Wrap Up the Day.
Spend 15 minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk and prepare a to-do list for tomorrow. Decide on your top 3 priorities for the next day so you can hit the ground running.