Whether you work a 9-5 office job, are a stay-at-home mom, or a business owner chances are you are eager to find ways to get more done each day. There are so many distractions bombarding us throughout the day. Social media, television, email, and unexpected breaks and visitors can all impede productivity. This article outlines four ways that everyone can improve their productivity.
1. Create a schedule
A schedule can be very helpful in making sure you get things done. If you decide that every Wednesday is laundry day and every Monday you’ll vacuum, you won’t have to worry about when you’ll fit those mundane chores into your week. It doesn’t matter if you work inside or outside the home, finding the time to get chores done can be a struggle. Scheduling can take the stress out of finding time for them.
2. Stop checking your email and social media
Constantly checking your social media and email is a bad habit that will suck hours out of your day if you allow it. Check your email and social media only a few times a day. Don’t leave them open all day because seeing them will cause you to constantly hit the refresh button. Check them, reply to anything that needs attention, and log-out until after you’re done. When you get into the habit of checking these things less often, you’ll find yourself with more time to do other things.
3. Stop feeling obligated
How many people have expectations of you that you just don’t want to fulfill? Just because other people have expectations of you doesn’t mean you have to play along. If someone expects you to be on the phone for two hours straight every afternoon, don’t answer the phone. You’re not obligated to talk to anyone. You might rather spend your lunch hour catching up on the book you’re reading. If someone is constantly asking you for favors they can do for themselves, learn to say “no.” Giving in to these expectations of others will suck up the little time you do have.
4. Create a to-do list
You can help yourself be more productive by creating a to-do each night. When you wake up each morning, you will know exactly what you have to do that day. Choose at least one very important task you need to accomplish that day along with a couple of smaller tasks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with an extremely long to-do list.
5. Stop trying to multitask
Very few people can multitask successfully, but don’t assume you can. It’s hard to divide your attention between two or more activities. If you’re working on the computer to finish something for work, turn off all chat messengers, close social media, and just focus on your work. You’ll finish it in quicker time than if you’re trying to chat with your friend at the same time.
6. Set your timer
Some things you occupy yourself with during the day can suck up more time than you intend if you’re not careful. When you chat with a friend online or on the phone, set your timer for fifteen or twenty minutes and then say you have to go. Have you ever stayed in a conversation long after it’s gotten boring? We have all done it. Even if the conversation is still interesting after twenty minutes, move on to something else. You don’t get things accomplished by talking on the phone for 90 minutes.
Getting things done is possible without rushing around all day or arming yourself with a ten foot long to-do list. Improving your productivity begins with prioritizing the way you spend your time. You don’t have to cut out fun or ignore your friends to be productive.