On average, there are 260 weekdays a year counting holidays and weekends. That leaves lots of time to get things done…or to procrastinate. We all want to feel the empowerment of accomplishing something that we have been putting off. Sometimes, when you have a lot going on, it is easy to become overwhelmed and give-up.
Whether at work or at home, staying organized is the key.
The hardest part of being productive is having a concise overview of what needs to be accomplished. Here are a few helpful guidelines to get you out of your productive rut:
- Start by defining your goals
- These become important pieces of your personal development and professional growth. What do you want to accomplish above and beyond day-today tasks?
- These should be bigger ideas/projects that you would like to start or accomplish.
- Create day–to-day task lists
- Include every task you can think of. Be as in-depth as possible, from checking your email to returning phone calls. Even minimal tasks needs to be addressed.
- Prioritize your lists
- Which goals are most important t o you? Which goals are long term?
- Which tasks have deadlines? Which ones can you complete quickly eliminating them from the list?
- Plan your week– choose 5 big things that you will begin / accomplish
- Begin each day by tackling quick tasks immediately. If a task pops into mind and it requires less than 5 minutes time, attend to it right away, eliminating the need to write it down or to try and remember it later.
- Be realistic about how much time tasks take
- If you underestimate how long it takes to, say, write that proposal or finish that home improvement project, you’re inevitably going to get behind. On the other hand, if you always overestimate how long tasks take, you’ll never be as efficient as you could be. Try to accurately estimate how much time something will take.
- Focus on one project at a time – all of your attention.
- Step away from the inbox. Make a habit to only check your emails at select times of the day to avoid getting sidetracked with other tasks.
- Complete each task completely! Don’t mark it off as complete if its not done.
- Have daily dedicated planning time
- Set aside 5-10 minutes in the morning or the evening to think through that day’s (or the next day’s) tasks and to outline a game plan for how to best accomplish them.
Follow these simple steps and you will be surprised how much you will accomplish in a short amount of time.