Using your time efficiently and productively helps to make a heavy workload manageable. Your time is one of your most precious non-renewable resources, and you must plan your schedule strategically to make the most of every hour. Here are a few tips that can help you accomplish more throughout every workday.
1. Prioritize Rest
Not getting enough rest can drag down your energy levels and seriously detract from your concentration. If you haven’t had enough time to recharge, focusing on tasks and troubleshooting problems won’t come quickly to you. Furthermore, it may take you a little extra time to complete tasks and thereby diminish your overall productivity.
Be consistent about getting adequate rest every night. It isn’t possible to catch up on sleep over the weekend. Avoid tons of screen time right before bed because the blue light from phones and laptops is disruptive to your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
2. Start Your Day with Direction
Email is usually among the first things busy people start their mornings doing. However, it’s easy to spend too much time on this type of task, and it can easily shift your focus from wherever you need it to be.
Ideally, you should begin days with intensive and complex tasks that you’ve identified as the top priorities on your to-do list. Don’t substitute your priorities for someone else’s unless that directive comes from a supervisor or a client with a genuinely urgent request for assistance.
3. Audit How You Spend Your Time
Many busy professionals make it a point to plan their schedule meticulously, and many even chart out their days in increments as small as one-sixth of an hour. However, not quite so many go back and compare how they’ve spent their time with the plans that they’ve made. Auditing your time helps to ensure that you’re allocating it judiciously.
Just like business owners want to compare their estimated expenses with actual expenses, you should aim to determine how well you manage your time. Auditing your time can show you if there are specific job duties in which you need to strive for better productivity, and it can also give you insight into which times of day you tend to be the most productive.
When you want to get more work done, don’t work longer. Instead, look for ways to maximize the volume of work you can accomplish within a fixed period.