It should be fairly straightforward, right? You come into work in the morning, do whatever is needed to be done to complete the tasks before you, and then go home at the end of the day. Job complete! Except it isn’t that easy. We aren’t all as productive us as we should be, and work is often less unfinished come close of business. It can be frustrating, especially if we are then forced to work overtime as a result.
Here then, are what we have termed the Golden Rules of Productivity. By adhering to each principle, you should, as our title suggested, stand a better chance of getting things done.
Rule #1: Prioritise your day
There will be some tasks that need to be completed during the day, and others that can wait until a later date. Therefore, focus on the most important tasks first, and only when they are done, focus on the other things. This way, you won’t run the risk of having to stay behind at work to complete those tasks that come with a deadline. Continuing with this principle, consider doing those jobs that you hate first too. While they will be a drag, you will be less inclined to procrastinate if you make an effort to get them out of the way first. You will then have more time to concentrate on the other tasks that are on your to-do lists.
Rule #2: Simplicity is king
Don’t get bogged down with tricky or time-consuming tasks throughout the day. If you can find a way to simplify your business tasks, then do so. There are some ideas in the linked article, for example, with descriptions of software tools that are designed to deal with some of those tasks that you might need to focus on during the day. And there are hundreds of other apps and programs available that are designed to streamline your day and boost your productivity. Do your research and download anything that could help you manage your workload.
Rule #3: Focus on your strengths
It is highly unlikely that you are competent at every task that befalls you each day. And even if you are, there will be some tasks that could be handled by others. Therefore, concentrate your time on those tasks that a) you have the skills to complete, and b) that directly fall under your remit. Then outsource or delegate any other aspect of your business that would only slow down your productivity otherwise. Thinking about your IT, as an example, you could hire an IT consultant if you aren’t proficient or don’t have time to concentrate on this one area. A company such as Ntiva gives you more time to focus on core business functions, as they have the expertise that you might otherwise lack. Think about the tasks that take up your time unnecessarily, and find the people to help you.
Rule #4: Take a break
By working extensively without any breaks, you will tire yourself out, both physically and mentally. As a result, your productivity will suffer, as your lethargy will cause you to work and think slower than normal. During the day then, plan to have a break at regular intervals so you are always in peak condition to work. And the same applies at home. If you are always taking work home with you, you will limit the amount of time you get to rest. Your sleep might then suffer, and when you return to work the next day, you might get less done because you are in a tired and exhausted state. Focus on your work-life balance, and enjoy your downtime so you can be fully refreshed when you’re back at work.
When a colleague wanders over to have a chat with you, say no if you know you have work to do. When a client offers you more work, say no if you know you won’t have time to complete it on time, or to a quality level. When you are tempted to check Facebook or any other time-wasting activity, tell yourself no, as these innocent activities will only eat into your time otherwise. There are times when you might say yes to improve your productivity. If somebody offers you a helping hand, then do answer in the positive if you can rely on them. But in all of those instances that could stop you from getting things done, just say no!
Adhere to the rules in this article, and you will stand a better chance at getting things done in the day. You might then have the opportunity to go home and relax, instead of taking your work home with you, or worrying about anything that has been left unfinished.
Let us know what you think, and if there are any other rules that should be added to this list, please share your ideas with us.