If you take a look at some of the most successful business people in the world they all have one trait in common, they know how to manage their time. Business owners from Fortune 500 executives right down to the solopreneur needs to effectively manage their time in order to get things done. Getting more productive tasks done in shorter periods of time is the key to survival in any business after all “time is money”.
How do you become more productive? Here are five actionable steps you can start using today to make better use of the limited amount of hours in a day. No more running around with your head in the clouds wondering what needs your attention next.
5 Ways to Improve Productivity
- Triage your To-Do List
If you have ever sat in a hospital emergency room then you know that no matter how long you’ve been waiting more urgent cases are going to cut the line in front of you and get seen first. Apply the same principals to your to do list. Identify your tasks as “urgent”, “important” and it can wait”. You will have to decide which task absolutely must be handled by you and which you can delegate. People often make the mistake of making things important or urgent, but really they aren’t they could easily be handled by support staff. Once you have figured out what NEEDS your attention then you can get on with doing those tasks.
- Make a Plan and Stick to It
Now that you’ve sorted your to do list into what needs to be done by you, it’s time to create the schedule to get it done. Planning things out ahead of time also offers you another benefit, no last minute surprises and scrambling to get things done. Productivity is based on having a solid plan in place, if you don’t control your schedule it will control you. You’ll be surprised how effective planning alone can increase your productivity.
- Get Up Early
“The early bird gets the worm” is pretty accurate. Science has shown us that our brains actually function better in the morning, there is nothing stopping you from taking advantage of this fact. Set the alarm an hour earlier in the morning and start getting things done. When you start losing energy in the afternoon like everyone does your tasks for the day could already be finished.
- Bad News First
We’re all guilty of procrastination to some degree, and we have the bad habit of leaving the things we hate to do until the very last. It’s time to change that. Do the tasks you loathe first, get them out of the way and over with. Productivity is just about how you use your time but using your time smartly, so bite the bullet and get the job done. You’ll also find that doing this builds momentum and your day gets done far quicker and ends on a positive note.
- Take Breaks and Move
This is particularly important if you have a job that keeps you behind a desk all day. Sitting all day is hard on your overall health, so get up and move around. Every hour or so get up and take a short walk, do a couple of yoga stretches or some breathing exercises. It will keep you feeling refreshed and relaxed.