Simple strategies that put you in control.
How can you become more productive? Here are the most popular and powerful time tips, all in one spot.
- Write down your long-term goals. Use the SMART formula; make them Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic and Time-bound.
- Every day, divide your tasks into A, B and C priorities. Always start with a high priority “A” task, even if you can only accomplish a small part of it.
- Block off time for activities that are important. Make an appointment with yourself, and don’t let anyone schedule anything for the time you’ve put aside.
- Stop spending time on trivia. Don’t spend hours preparing a high tech presentation when a good conversation will suffice. And stop fussing over routine administrative tasks. Delegate or automate them.
- Have the courage to say no. Don’t try to please others all the time. Create personal policies that make it easy to say no and stick to your plan.
- Always start meetings on time. Don’t punish those who show up on time and reward those who are late. Do something however minor, but get started.
- Slow down. Productivity isn’t about going fast. It’s about doing the right things. Stop rushing around, driving too fast and getting upset at things you can’t control. A couple of minutes gained aren’t worth the added stress.
- Avoid procrastination by completing unpleasant tasks first. The tough stuff usually turns out to be not so bad. Break complex tasks into easy pieces and give yourself a reward for getting something done.
- Don’t be a slave to technology. Communication devices are simply adding more and more ways to be out of touch with each other. Simplify your life and leave your phone off now and then. Plan for people to reach you some of the time, not all of the time.
- Create time for balance in your life. Set aside time for family, fitness, social, educational and spiritual needs. Plan for balance the way you plan for work.