1. Tame the Phone and Email
Your phone and your email are often the main distractions and disruptions during your day. Not only do you have the desire to check them every time you see a notification come through, but it’s also easy to get sucked into other things, like checking apps and social media, when you pick them up as well.
Get a firm grip on them. Start scheduling your phone calls and set a time to check your emails. Set your phone somewhere you can’t see it and stop email notifications from popping up on your screen each time you get one.
You can even challenge yourself by setting screen time limits on your phone and sticking to them. Most phone make it easy to see how long you’ve spent on them each day.
2. Cut Back on Time Spent in Meetings
Find a way to not spend too much time in meetings. Some of the best strategies include not having any food in the meetings, standing up during meetings, and scheduling a 20-minute meeting 20 minutes before the workday ends. Since everyone wants to go home, that twenty minutes will likely stick to twenty minutes and not somehow turn into an hour, or more.
Also, having a meeting agenda and ensuring to have everything you need to go over ready before the meeting starts can also cut back on time spent in meetings.
3. Create and Use Lists
There are hundreds if not thousands different time management systems on earth. All of them rely on creating and using lists. You can make this simple or fancy. You can use pen and paper or technology, but you do need lists in order to be really productive.
Sometimes, even just writing things down gets them out of my head so I can visualize them. Once I’ve written them down, I usually can go about my day and complete my list without having to reference it again. At the end of the day, there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from being able to mark several items off your list.
Writing things down can also free up your brain power so that you can focus on more important things. You may have a great memory or you may have a memory of a rusted steel trap. The idea is the same: write things down so that you can forget about them until you need them again.
It’s stressful trying to just keep everything in your head. Writing things down allows you to free your mind, lowers stress, and gives you the confidence that you’re not going to forget anything since you’ll remember it everytime you reference your list. When you write your to-dos down and don’t keep them in your memory, they don’t get lost.
4. Connect Everything to Your Goals
The main reason why most people are not productive is because they don’t have enough reasons to become productive. This is why one of the secrets to extreme productivity is having a lot of reasons to be extremely productive. This is why you need to have goals and link everything you do to your goals.
Whether it’s getting raises, more free time, saving money, landing your dream job, etc., being conscious of your goals and focusing your energy on activities that will help you accomplish them is a great way to keep yourself motivated and productive.
5. Block Out Your Time
One of the secrets of extremely productive people is that they make appointments with themselves. Many people treat others with respect and attention, forgetting that they need to respect themselves and their own time. The more time you schedule and block for yourself, the less time you’ll have for destructions and interruptions.
When you block time and assign it to the things that are important, you automatically reduce waste. Most people live their lives in reactive mode. They arrive and then wait for things to happen. That’s not what productive people do. Effective time management is about having goals and plans and then planning your time in order to accomplish what you want or need.
Block out a few block of super productive hours where you work without any distractions, and then other less productive blocks of time where you can check your phone and emails, meet with co-workers, etc. You’ll find that you’re able to get more done in less time by focusing your time and energy a couple times a day without distractions.
6. Live in the Off-Peak Hours if you Can
Going in person to a bank on a Friday, especially after noon, is a recipe for wasting a lot of time, especially on the first and fifteenth day of the month.
The same can be said about going to a grocery store one day before a holiday weekend or checking into a hotel between 8 and 9 A.M.
Eating lunch a little bit earlier or later than the majority can save you a ton of time everyday waiting in line.
Hitting rush hour traffic can double the amount of driving time it takes to get home.
Maybe somethings are out of your control and you can’t always choose when you come at go at jobs. But if you can, think about where you can cut time wasted doing nothing simply by doing things at a better time.
Think about what you can do to organize your life so that you don’t have to waste a lot of time running errands and performing activities when everybody else is doing so, too. This will not only save time but also help you avoid frustration.
Looking for more great reads? Check out these related articles:
- Get Your To-Do List Under Control
- The “1-2-5 Rule” Completely Changed My To-Do List
- How to Use Avoidance to Boost Productivity
- Technology, Boundaries, and Taking a Break From Emails and Notifications for Awhile
- How to Spark Creativity in Your Workplace
- Want to Succeed? Write Down your Goals.
- Top 10 Tips to Get More Done in Less Time
- The 8 Biggest Time-Management Obstacles and How to Avoid Them for Maximum Productivity
- 10 Tips for Creating a Personal Time-Management System
- 25 Time Management Tips to Make the Most of Your Work Day