But hey! Not because I can’t manage my own time and tasks. There were so many new, exciting projects and challenges that I just couldn’t resist but take them up! Though, there was one, tiny problem called productivity.
Productivity – the art of not wasitng time
8 hours – that’s the basic time of your workday, right? Seems like it’s enough to get through a bunch of emails, several meetings and, of course, your everyday duties, isn’t it? Well… I guess we all know the truth. Even if the workday would last forever you would probably still miss those few minutes to complete all the tasks. Facing this very issue time to time in my everyday work last year, I came up with a few useful and effective tricks that helped me fit the daily schedule.
My new best friend – Kanban Board
That’s right. All you need is just 3 minutes of your time, a little bit of free space on the wall, your desk or even in your notebook. And sticky notes. Simple as it is. Productivity boost guaranteed. But how exactly does it affect your time management? It not only helps you divide all your tasks into three groups: TO DO, IN PROGRESS and DONE, organize them and make them easily accessible but also prioritize them. What’s more, it’s flexible and let you introduce changes easily. Now you know what to do and when to do. No more exceeded deadlines.
Writing instead of distracting
We all know that one person who keeps on skulking and saying “Hey! Can I take you a minute?”. The answer is no. Or at least should be. It’s because it will take you from 15 to 23 minutes to get back on track after a distraction, studies claims. To deal with the issue ask your workmates to give you an intro via communicator like Slack, Hangouts or any other so that you can respond whenever you’ll have a while… if at all 😉
The reason to do so matches perfectly with the one above. Juggling multiple tasks at
the same time, i.e. decide to respond an email while creating new offer of your
service won’t help you to keep focused and productive. Multitasking requires context switching. And we don’t like context switching. Again, it will take you up to 23 minutes to concentrate and return to the primary task.
Sounds like something perfectly obvious, doesn’t it? You can divide deadlines into
two groups – the one given you by your superior, and those self-set. From my point of
view, it is crucial to mark the dates by yourself. The earlier before your boss’s deadline, the better. The fewer tasks with a deadline on the same date, the better. Keep them organized, stick to them and you’ll see you can do much more!
Steer clear of meetings
There’s probably nothing less productive than meetings. Really. I don’t claim they’re
useless. Some of them brings great solutions to your company, important strategy
changes and so on. But when invited to one without schedule, agenda, timetable or
whatever it takes to make it effective do not hesitate to refuse. It’s a clear sign that nobody will come prepared and that you’ll almost certainly lose your precious time. If you want to read more on meetings, check out a must read Ola Pszczoła’s article on effectiveness.
Jot down ideas
Have you ever thought about something brilliant, just to let it slip away from your
head before you had a chance to write it down? I feel you, we’ve all been there. There’s extremely simple solution that require nothing more than a smartphone, notebook or a piece of paper. And a pen. The pen is important if you left your smartphone in the kitchen. So, whenever an extremely good (or just good) idea will come through your mind, take anything that will let you memorise it. Record a voice message, write a note. Don’t let it fade away (as you probably did a few times before) because it might be a game changer for you and/or your company!
Get yourself a break
Probably one of the most neglected duties you have at work. Yes, it is a duty. Your mind sometimes needs a break. To get some fresh air. Don’t let it burn-out by 2pm, that will happen if you won’t take several minutes off, at least a few times a day. The calculation is easy – 2 hours of unproductive glance at the laptop display versus 20 minutes of enjoyable breaks. I choose the second, how about you?
Do you have your own ways of dealing with time-wasting while at work? Any golden, time-saving solutions? I’m keen on reading your thoughts on this one!