Life is one big juggling act, we all work in different ways. Some people manage a micro business others are freelancers, some are based in the office, some from home. Whatever your set-up we’ve nearly all experienced times of less productivity, distractions and guilt with our time management, struggling to get tasks completed or even started.
Here are a few pointers on how to get creative, manage time more productively in bit size chunks & really achieve what you need to in the time you have:
1. Turns off distractions for 1 hour whilst you complete a task!!! Distraction kills productivity & can take 15 minutes to get your concentration back.
- FB / twitter / MSN/ Skype – turn the notifications off
- Email alerts – pick 2/3 times a day to looks at emails
- Phone calls – ignore them, if they’re that urgent they’ll leave a message or you can screen them for the caller ID – school, parents etc.
- Wear headphones, people generally ignore you then even if you’re not listening to anything it muffles outside noise and if you plug them in then you can’t get up & walk away!
2. Create chunks of time that are used to be productive & make sure you’ve written a list.
- Set the timer on your computer but be clear about what you want to achieve, otherwise don’t bother creating the time in the first place.
- Always have a list & know what you need to do to move your business forward & that way if get a free hour then you’ll know exactly what you need to do & won’t waste time.
- Break big projects or tasks down into bite size chunks so that you don’t waste time procrastinating. For example if you’re project is to put together an event, do not write on the top of your “To Do List – Organise Event”! Break it down into smaller actions that you can complete in 30 min / 1 hour intervals.
- Research competitor events
- Research dates & venues
- Look at promotion & Create an adverts etc etc.
- If you’re always struggling for time then get into the office or get up an hour earlier when there’s no other distractions
3. The best way to work is for 60-90 minutes at a time.
- It’s to do with our sugar levels & the way our brain’s wired. That’s why meetings / workshops function best when they are structured with the correct number of breakout times or we just feel drained.
- We need to work in short, intensive bursts with “controlled interruptions” in-between. Set your time for 60 minutes & then get up, make a drink, take a walk, hang up washing etc. This way you will start ticking things off of your “To Do List”.
- STOP MULTI-TASKING, be 100% focused & then you’ll stand a chance of completing a task.
4. STOP Worrying, Feeling Guilty, Procrastinating, these are all types of mind-set that are a useless waste of time & energy.
- Women can be especially guilty of this, I’M ONE OF THEM!!! Guilty because you put the children in front of the t.v for an hour to get something done, or guilty because you’re spending time with them when you should be working. WRONG.
- Use the time that you do have productively whether it’s time at work or time with the kids, use 100% of your time effectively with 100% concentration.
- Do what you have to do within reason. You’re doing your best.
As mentioned before, everyone works best in different ways, pick & choose bits of this that might work for you. Hope it helps!
- KNOW WHAT YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE, MAKE A LIST
- SET SMALL, ACHIEVABLE GOALS
- CREATE POCKETS OF TIME
- ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
- DON’T MULTI TASK, DO 1 THING WITH 100% CONCENTRATION
- DON’T FEEL GUILTY
- DON’T PROCRASTINATE