Sometimes it can be hard to believe that everyone has the same amount of time in each day. How fast you work does play into productivity, but those who really make the most of their 24 hours just know how to work efficiently. It's about cutting out what you don't need to make time for what you do need, and it's about understanding balance and creating a routine. How fast you work is really just one very small piece of the puzzle.
So how can you be the one to find more time in your day to get everything done and still have time for a life outside of work? Check out some of the tips below.
Create a To-Do List
So this is one of the most obvious points, but it's number 1 for a reason. If you've tried creating a to-do list before and it hasn't worked for you, consider giving it another try with a new strategy, such as creating a list on your phone, using a paper calendar, or using a productivity app to help. By writing down your priorities each morning, you can help stay organized and most importantly remain realistic about what you can accomplish each day. A Business Know How article even recommends creating this list the night before work so that you can hit the ground running in the morning.
It's a common misconception that multi-tasking will allow you to get things done faster. While certain tasks can be done at once, such as eating your lunch and watching a training video, but by and large you need to focus on the tasks at hand. If you can do one thing at a time, that will actually maximize your productivity in most situations. Multi-tasking can lead to stress while working to finish one thing at a time helps you stay in control; therefore helping you get everything done in one day.
Stick With Priorities
Many workers have a tendency to work in the order of "whatever is easiest" because then it seems like more got done. Well this may be a good time saver in some situations, putting off the inevitable will only stress you out, potentially causing those priorities to suffer in the future because you didn't budget your time correctly. Get in the habit of going in an order and sticking with it and you'll be surprised at home much more you'll get done in the long run ("in the long run" being the key words here).
Create Your Own Schedule and Let Others Work Around You
This idea comes from being able to say "no" and/or feeling comfortable delegating work. Create a schedule of your priorities and be realistic about what you can get done in one day while still leaving time for other important things like exercise and sleep. Create a schedule for your day and make sure that people work around you as opposed to you bending for them. Of course in some situations compromise is necessary, but if you can always keep this idea in the back of your mind then you can make sure you're not getting taken advantage of.
Break Your TV and Social Media Addictions
So we can't assume that everyone deals with this, but in today's fast-paced world these activities are starting to become an addiction and not a de-stressor. Whenever you have a block in your thought, you may turn to social media to "take a break," when in reality you're creating bad habits that are becoming a part of your routine. It takes 21 days to break a habit, so try and work hard to make it happen and eliminate these mindless activities. This will allow you to have control over your day and chose which projects and activities will be most beneficial without anything weighing you down. Note, if you need a break, one of the best things you can do is take a walk or spend a little time sitting quietly and not turning to a screen.
Put Organization at Home as a Priority
If your life is organized everything you need to do at work will be organized. You may feel like you have a report due next week that simply doesn't allow you the time to clean our your car, but taking time to get something like your car in order can help you work more efficiently on your work because you'll have less on your mind. Again, this is something that you'll need to make a habit, but once you do you won't be sorry.
Get a Good Night's Sleep Every Night
Prioritizing sleep is one of the hardest things for workaholics, but it has to be taken seriously. Just like many of the other ideas on this list, this is one that will actually help all of your work get done better and faster than if you skipped sleep altogether, which also means you'll get more done in the long run (and isn't that really the point?). If you have so much work that you have to sacrifice sleep, you need to put your foot down and make a change either by talking to your boss or learning to better say "no," as discussed above.
As you've probably noticed, most of the items listed above all deal with putting you back in control of your day so you can prioritize efficiently. Feeling like you're in control will allow you to have a clear mind and not only make decisions easier and faster, but clearer. This allows you to get your priorities straight and hopefully the longer you start practicing these happens the sooner they will become routine.