The difference between important and urgent things in our life is usually easy to recognize. Urgent things include meeting deadlines for work, picking your son up from baseball practice, and making sure you are at your computer when your fantasy draft starts. Unfortunately, urgent things repeatedly take the place of important things in our life. These important things like exercise, happiness, and family happen to be the things that can in turn make us more productive workers. In order to share focus on both urgent and important things in life, try implementing the following time management tips.
Eliminate half-work at all costs. Although multi-tasking is an important part of our work lives today, efficiency expert James Clear argues that we split our time too frequently. This productivity killing habit takes form when we check our phone in the midst of report writing, peruse our inbox during a phone call, and browse Facebook while crunching numbers. This form of half-work causes us to never be fully engaged in the task at hand. To eliminate half-work, designate time blocks for certain tasks, and during this time, focus solely on the task at hand. This amount of focus will allow you to be more productive, and have a more efficient day throughout.
Do the most important things first. For most people, their willingness to perform difficult tasks diminishes throughout the day. I am much more inclined to handle a difficult conference call or crank out a report early in the morning than in the late afternoon. By following this simple strategy of tackling your most difficult challenges early in the day, you will get the important things done, and have a more productive day early on. This leads into a productive afternoon, and before you know it, you actually accomplished everything you set out to do that day. What a feeling!
Stick to a schedule. Producing quality work over the long-term is easiest when you create a schedule. Schedules allow you to break up work and avoid stress. Although deadlines are important, I often tend to procrastinate and push work closer and closer to the deadline. This ultimately just causes me more stress in the long run. Unfortuantely, our world is ever changing and schedules often times get pushed to the side. When things get crazy during your day, do your absolute best to stick to a schedule. If time gets away from you and you are only able to dedicate 20 minutes to something that you initially allotted an hour, so be it. Stick to your schedule to ensure maximum productivity.