Are you struggling with that to-do list?
With work, home, family, friends, and responsibilities that need to be tended to, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and under productive. The good news is that by changing some habits you can boost your productivity and get more done in less time!
Prioritize your to-do list. It’s easy to be stressed and to work unproductively when you are thinking about all the many things that need to be taken care of each day. Whether it be at the office or at home, prioritizing your tasks is incredibly useful. Consider any deadlines or upcoming events that require certain things to be done before others. Maybe several of your tasks can be done in the same errand trip or can be brought up in the same meeting. Arranging your to-do list in order of importance, time constraint, and in similar groups helps you work through them faster.
Stop multitasking. Finish what you start! It always seems like things will go by faster if you try to get them all done at once, but what actually happens is that everything gets started and nothing ever gets finished properly. Pick a task off of your prioritized list and work on it until it is done as completely as it can be. A task at work may require information or collaboration with a coworker so do all of the parts that you are responsible for. Once done, you can move onto another task instead of having to find the time to go back and finish what you started.
Don’t dawdle. There will be times that you work on something and feel as though you are making no progress. If you have spent at least a half hour working on something and have not made any substantial progress on it, move on to another task. While this may seem a lot like multitasking, it is different in that you will move on to complete another task. There is no sense in wasting your time so pick a task that you know you can accomplish fairly easily. Once you get going, it will be easier to keep working through that to-do list.
Reward yourself. There are so many ways to do this. Give yourself a ten minute break to grab a coffee or snack, or get outside and grab some fresh air. Setting small goals can help with this too. Tell yourself that you will accomplish three tasks before you get up to refill your coffee. This will give you something to look forward to and make the list much more manageable.
Limit your distractions. Whether you’re organizing your closet, balancing your checkbook, or working on an office task, it will be much easier to get done if you are not distracted. It’s no secret that cell phones and social media have made it harder to stay focused. Consider closing your extra browsers, setting your phone aside, and silencing email notifications. This will help keep you stay focused and working through those tasks faster!
Photo Credit: Ivan Radic A female hand with pen on notepad, working on laptop in office via photopin (license)