Whether you are a freelancer or employee, or entrepreneur, or even CEO of some corporation, you struggle to be successful. In our everyday work-life success means being productive and effective. But this also involves keeping work-life balance to avoid overworking and burning out.
Now you are ready to start, excited and enthusiastic, but most probably not sure where to start from. There are tons of tips and tricks of effective organizing a day to be productive. How to find the working ones without wasting your time?
We’ve gone through dozens of books, articles, and courses to pinpoint the 5 most important steps to follow for your highest productivity and keeping work-life balance healthy:
Step 1. Plan your day proactively.
Simply write down all planned activities and evaluate the approximate time to get them done:
- Do it the night before.
- Keep in mind your personal biorhythms (e.g. if you are a morning person, take advantage of your clear head in the morning and perform important tasks at this time).
- Schedule a few 10-, 20-minutes regular breaks.
Step 2. Do not multitask!
Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other celebrities state they achieved success partially due to multitasking.
But the latest researches show multitasking:
- lowers your IQ,
- makes you less able to absorb the big volume of information (e.g. read a long article, or a book, or even read more than 2 sentences!),
- makes important tasks harder to complete,
- simply wastes your time (you need 15-25 min to focus on your task after switching!)
Thus, focus on your current task and try not to multitask.
Step 3. Cut meetings time by 25%.
Meetings are the important part of our working flows, especially if you work remotely. But usually, they take you more time than you plan or expect: setting up a conference call, waiting for all colleagues to join etc.
This funny video shows exactly how a meeting can sometimes be held:
To avoid such situations and make meetings more productive, aware your colleagues you intend to end up by a specific time.
For instance, if you cut one meeting per day from 1 hour down to 45 min (by 25% as said before), you will win back 25 hours a month of work time or some 300 hours a year — almost 2 months of plain work!
Step 4. Use Agile approach: split up big tasks into a number of smaller ones.
‘Agile’ has become a buzzword for a few years. And it might be applied not only to IT project management but also for other projects.
Just imagine your working day as a project and set milestones for the split up tasks for a day. It’s always easier to realize you’re done with even a part of a task and cross it out of your to-do list!
Step 5. Use time tracker.
Time tracker is a kind of software helping you monitor the time spent on daily activities, like showing how much time you were socializing, gaming, surfing the web, shopping online or spent working in MS Word or any other useful soft.
You may choose any of existing solutions, there are plenty on the market. But mind that it should help you to view the true situation with your time in order you could prioritize your activities in the future.