Today was probably one of my most productive days this month. The UK and the US were off for their public holiday, I had blocked time for a project I procrastinated on for too long (yup, I also have weaknesses), defined achievable steps for an upcoming project with some colleagues and answered the majority of my emails (yeah!). Wow! By the end of the day, I felt ahead of the day and even week.
Want to leave your office with the same feeling of accomplishment and success every day? Feel at the top of the world? Make your purposeful planning and actions thrive you to reach your best? Here are some tips for you to increase your efficiency and productivity:
- Block time in your calendar for project work. You know your inner clock and can best assess when you’re most alert and your mind is sharpened.
- More and more studies are showing that multi-tasking just doesn’t work. Make a conscious decision to focus on one thing before moving on to the next.
- Batch like activities together. Set time aside for making calls (block time for them), reviewing documents, filing and checking your emails. By batching, you’re combining similar activities and are consequently streamlining your thought processes, maximising your mental focus, minimising distraction and finally increasing your productivity.
- Take a break. If you leave your desk and walk for 5 minutes every hour, your mind refreshes and you can concentrate on your next activity. Plus you’re avoiding being too sedentary. The Pomodoro Method takes it a step further. You take a 5-minute-long break after 25 minutes of work and after 4 blocks of 25 minutes each, you take a longer break (around 20 minutes). Experiment with the time blocks and customise them for you!
- To truly focus on an activity, David Allen suggests to write everything down. Get it out of your head and declutter your mind. You can then centre in on the activity in front of you.
- As tempting as creating a to-do list is, don’t. Instead, create your destination list. Similar to pilots who may go off route, they’ll always have their destination in mind. What do you want to achieve? What impact do you want to make with these activities and projects? How do you want to feel afterwards?
- Set boundaries. What am I committing to? Is this part of my role or am I helping someone out? If I’m helping someone out, do I have the resources (e.g. time, energy, tools) or will my own work suffer?
Are you ready to try out these tips? I’d love to hear which one is making the biggest difference for you.
Enjoy a productive and fruitful week,