Don't Let Time Manage You
Staying productive, and keeping your team productive at work can be a challenge. With the right tools, systems and mindset, being highly productive is not only possible, it can be relatively simple.
Here are a few tips to help keep you (and your team) on top of things:
Don't get lost in your inbox - That familiar chime that lets us know we have mail, has us trained like Pavlov's dogs. Turn off your email notifications so that you aren't distracted every time a piece of junk mail hits your inbox. Schedule time blocks in your day to manage your email.
Stick to a schedule - Create a schedule with reasonable time frames and stick to it as much as possible. If you schedule a meeting for an hour, keep it to an hour. Once you let one task/meeting run over your allotted time, your entire day is thrown off balance. You'll find yourself scrambling to catch up and ultimately end up being less productive.
Get a head-start on tomorrow by preparing before you leave the office today - The old fashioned to-do list is still one of the most important time management tools we have. If you rely on your memory, chances are things will fall through the cracks. Write down a list of everything that you know needs to be done the next day and in the morning you are already a step ahead.
Organize your tasks - Since you wrote down your to-do list the night before, it will be quick and easy to arrange your workday so that you can tackle your most important priorities together. By doing similar tasks together, you will save time, be more efficient and ultimately produce higher quality work. Not to mention when you get the most important and/or the hardest tasks out of the way early in your day, you will find the rest of your day will flow smoother and result in an increase in productivity.
Don't sit at your desk all day - It is important to get up, walk around the office and take a few minutes for a 'mental break.' These short breaks will reinvigorate you and help you be more productive in the long term. Be sure and do some simple stretches every few hours as well to loosen up your muscles.
Stand up for your phone calls - It is amazing that the simple act of standing during a phone call will actually help shorten the call, thus saving you time. When you are standing you are less likely to be just chat and you will get to the point of the conversation faster.
Learn to say no - While everyone wants to be a good team player at work, saying no is sometimes the right thing to do. If you are not the best person for an activity, or if you have other pending deadlines, it is OK to turn down a project. Help your co-worker or supervisor come up with an alternate solution.
Limit Social Media - Social media is a part of all of our daily lives, and next to email can be one of the biggest time drains in our day. Unless social media is a necessary part of your position at work, stay off the social networks all together during your work day. If it is part of your job, time block it. Spend 15 minutes several times a day to check in and respond to posts.
By implementing just a few simple changes in how you work, you will find that your workday becomes more productive, efficient and ultimately less stressful.
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