Most of us do our jobs with the greatest intentions. So you aim to accomplish more in less time and gear up to walk the extra mile. However, several factors and time constraints may make it hard for you to finish a task. Others try to stretch the day by working longer hours which can lead to stress and fatigue. Aside from the fact that it may pose problems in the long run, devoting longer hours to complete a task actually contradicts the true meaning of productivity.
If it takes you about three hours to finish an assignment that can normally be done in an hour, you are surely not being productive. The unnecessary extra hour you spend on a task means a waste of money and resources. So do yourself a big favor and break free from the clutch of unproductivity! Fortunately, the way to being more productive is not a long-buried secret. You can start by observing how the most efficient people do their tasks and emulating the strategies that will work for you. Check out the following suggestions:
Plan Your Day
Your goal to make the most out of every minute in a day will be doubly harder without planning ahead. If you do not devote some time to think the most efficient way to go about your day, you are just like a blind man juggling several balls at hand. You are likely to drop one or two balls in the process. Starting your day with a list of target goals is a giant leap towards getting things done.
Tackle The Hardest First
Take a look at your to-do list, determine the most difficult, and work on it right away. Checking off the most dreaded task so early in the day is like lifting a huge boulder out of your way. This is the task that probably worries you the most so you can heave a sigh of relief when it is finally done. This action will boost your confidence and will further motivate you to complete easier tasks on your list.
You cannot waste an entire morning just checking emails. Without setting a limit into each activity on your list, it is possible to get lost in one task for a longer time than needed. It is therefore a must to set a realistic target time into finishing each one. Giving yourself a deadline is like gently pushing yourself to focus on the task and get it done. This practice will also help you organize your workflow and prioritize the tasks.
Learn To Say No
You cannot do everything and please everybody. So think twice before saying yes to a co-worker who needs help in her project or to a boss who is giving you extra obligation. This does not mean you are being selfish or uncooperative. Sometimes, you just have to say no if the favor being asked would hinder you from finishing your own responsibilities. If you are hesitant or unsure that you can be of any assistance, it is better to say no early on than make a promise you cannot keep.
The ability to get things done fast is one of the traits that sets achievers apart from the rest. So instead of wishing for more hours in a day, it is a wiser decision to aim to work smarter. By enhancing your productivity, you are gaining a skill that will make you indispensable everywhere you go.