Everybody has the same 24 hour days but it is how they utilize it that separates them from everyone else. Entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk work 18 hour days because they use their time effectively.
There are distractions all around us especially with social media but it’s how we put that time to good use. It’s all about managing the work/life balance in your day to keep your mind and body sane so you don’t go crazy from stress. We can’t add any more hours to the day but we can certainly help you manage your day better by following some of these tips.
Countless studies have shown that multi-tasking can cause more harm in the long run because you won’t be putting 100% of your time and energy into one single thing. In fact, by focusing on several things at once can cause you to be less productive because you will not dedicate 100% of your energy into one single task.
Plan out your day the night before.
If you plan your day out the night before, you can envision what your day will look like. This way, you know which items are important and has to be done first instead of trying to figure it out the next day when you get into the office.
Keep your to-do list short (3-5 action items).
By keeping your list simple (relatively speaking), you won’t stress yourself out by staring at a long list of items to get done.
Take care of the hardest task first.
Do the most important and/or hardest thing first to get it out of the way. You’ll feel more productive and better too. You may tire yourself out if you do the less important items first and be stressed out when you realize you still have more pressing matters to attend to.
Schedule blocks of time for each task.
By doing this, you can dedicate certain times to each task. This will help you focus because you know that you will have 60 minutes free to work on your monthly report for your client and nothing else is going on during those 60 minutes. Another upside to this is that you can turn down other things like meetings during these periods because you know you are already busy.
A simple way to schedule blocks of time is the Pomodoro technique. All you have to do is break each task down into 25-minute blocks with five-minute breaks in between. The breaks are meant to keep your mind fresh so you don’t focus on one thing for too long.
There is nothing worse when you are in the zone and getting things done when an email or notification comes in on your phone to take you away from the current task. You then have to read what it says, respond to it, and then go back to what you were doing before. This includes reading every single tweet, Facebook update, Instagram post, and clicking on every article you come across. Yes, it may look interesting but you are wasting time in the end. Eliminate all distractions turning off notifications on your phone and computer and let your co-workers know that you are working on something important so they won’t disturb you.
Getting your body moving, either running in the morning or going for walks around the block, will give you more energy and a chance to clear your mind. This will lead to lower stress levels and higher levels of productivity.
This is arguably the most important thing on the list. By saying no, you will not overcommit yourself to things you don’t have time for like unnecessary meetings and conference calls.