If you’re like most of us, you often feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything you want to do.
The older you get, the faster time seems to go.
The reality is all of us have one thing in common: The amount of time given to us per day. The difference between successful people and those not as successful often boils down to how that time is spent.
Time is a nonrenewable resource. We can’t “save up” time like we can money or some other resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” — Jim Rohn
We can however, spend it wisely and make the most of our time. The goal is to create blocks of time to do the things that really matter to us. Things that make a difference and bring success, happiness and fulfillment to our lives.
Note: This is part 1 of a 3 post series.
Here are the first seven of the 21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now.
1) Plan your day in advance.
I have found this to be the greatest time tactic of all. I use a very simple system that works for me. You can use a digital platform, but I currently use a legal pad. I write down everything I need to do in advance and work off that list. Often times, I plan an entire week in advance, which works even better. I go down the list and cross off the things that I accomplish. Once I finish something, I move on to the next most important thing. Crossing or checking something off gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue. The list keeps you focused on doing the right things. If by the end of the day, you haven’t accomplished everything, you simply move the tasks to the next day. It’s a great feeling to know you got the right things done.
2) Use the batching technique.
This is another great time tactic to maximize your time. Batching is a technique where you do all the same type of activities together. For example, when possible save up your phone calls and make them together. If you have to do errands, do them in one trip. Return emails at certain times during the day. Some experts recommend mid morning and before you leave, depending on your job. Batching things together can bring a lot of momentum and get the activity done quicker.
3) Don’t multi-task.
This goes against our common sense, but studies have shown productivity actually goes significantly down when we focus on doing more than one thing at a time. I heard one expert say that it takes up to 18 minutes to transition when we stop and start an activity over again. Focus and finish a task and then move on to the next thing and you will be much more productive.
4) Prep the evening before.
Deciding and doing what you can the night before can be a big time booster. My mom is a master at this. She is one of the most organized people I know. She makes her lunch, decides what she is going to wear and lays everything out she needs for the next day the night before. Once you get up in the morning, you are ready for the day without spending time prepping and looking for things. Another effective strategy is to plan your to-do list for the following day the night before. Your brain will subconsciously begin to process what needs to be done. This practice will bring much more efficiency and clarity to your day.
5) Practice the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule is the idea that 80% of our success is made up from 20% of our efforts. This, of course, is not a scientific number, but generally speaking, it’s true. Spend 80% of your time doing the things that will bring you the greatest amount of success. Do your best to minimize the time spent on the rest.
6) Reduce your time online and in front of the television.
I love spending time online doing things like catching up with friends on Facebook and surfing the internet. The problem is, I often spend too much time online and find myself wondering how the time passed so quickly. I don’t recommend everyone completely eliminating these activities, but giving yourself a limit (budgeting your time) can greatly increase your productivity and still give you the break you desire.
7) Clear the clutter.
A disorganized work space can greatly reduce your focus and productivity. I tend to be very easily distracted and I work much better in a clutter free environment. My office is very minimalistic. I work from a small round table and only keep what I need on there. Usually, this means my laptop, a legal pad and a pen. It helps me to focus and I’m not distracted by the things around me that aren’t contributing to my work at hand.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the next 7 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Your Productivity Now.
What is one tip you have found that helps you get organized or increases your productivity?