Below we have created the ultimate list of hints and tips for getting more done in your working day.
Start as you mean to go on. Whether you work in an office or if you work at home, make sure that your workspace is tidy and that everything you need is readily available. Too much clutter can result in time being wasted unnecessarily.
2. Remove distractions
If you want to concentrate, you need to have the time and space to do so. If your phone is constantly ringing, or you spend time looking on social media, you can get distracted from the task at hand. Remove these from the equation.
3. Get more sleep
If you are a freelancer or a small business owner, you will be spinning a lot of plates. In order to be able to maintain your momentum and focus, you will need to get enough rest each night.
4. Wake up earlier
This shouldn’t affect the amount of sleep you have, it’s about maximising the times you work best, and having your own time outside of other people’s schedules to do it.
5. Make a list
In order to manage your time and workload effectively, you need to know what you need to do and when it needs to be done by. The best way to do this is to make a list and keep a diary. There are a number of free software applications you can use in order to achieve this.
6. Set achievable goals
There is no point setting tasks for yourself that either can’t be achieved or would use up unnecessary resources. Make sure that your tasks, however big, are still manageable.
7. Start at the top of the list
Out of the tasks you have each day, you will be able to identify which are the most important or need the most attention. If you have tasks like these, concentrate of them first.
8. Bite the bullet
In the same way you may have important tasks, you may also have unpleasant tasks that you want to put off. Don’t. Do them first and get them out of the way so that you can concentrate on things that need to get done.
9. Keep on top of your inbox
Most people communicate by email, whether its clients, suppliers or staff. In order to make sure that no email is missed, organise your inbox. If you can categorise them, create folders and mark which emails need to be followed up, and which can be archived.
You may be the one in charge, but it doesn’t mean you need to do it all. Know your strengths and weaknesses, but also trust in the skills of those around you.
When you structure your time and tasks, you can sometime lose some creativity. If you think a project is becoming stagnant, try brainstorming the idea. If you have a good team it can be incredibly beneficial bouncing ideas around and getting different perspectives.
12. Give your mind a break
You shouldn’t feel responsible for keeping every single thing in your mind. Write it down, take notes and use your diary. Give your mind some space to breath and concentrate on tasks.
13. Save time with templates
If you send similar emails to either suppliers or clients, or you create regular social media updates, where possible create a template. This will save you time in the long run.
14. Keeping it Simple
It is easy to overcomplicate things, but by doing so you can spend more time on something that you actually need to. Make sure that with everything you do, you do it in the most efficient and direct way. If you have a large task that appears daunting, break it down into smaller tasks.
15. Avoid multitasking
In order to carry out a task fully and effectively, you need to give it your undivided attention. The best way to enable you to do it is by taking one task at a time. Where possible, avoid multitasking.
16. Keep a pad and pen handy
Whether you are about to sleep and a great idea pops into your head, or you get inspiration after an important call or meeting, make a note of it.
17. Protect your time
If there are unnecessary meetings scheduled during your day, cancel them. If you cant spend your time productively, don’t spend your time at all.
18. Beat the urge to procrastinate
Procrastination isn’t always about a lack of focus; it’s normally a product of stress. Relieve this stress by knowing when to stop. Look at tasks in terms of the time you’ve allocated to tasks rather than fitting in as many tasks as possible, and implement a system.
19. Nobody is perfect
Following on from procrastination, relieve the pressure on yourself by knowing that you can be right all the time. Allow for mistakes and off days. Mistakes can be fixed and projects can be amended.
Make sure that you take some time out each week to look at what you have achieved. This is a great way of gaining perspective and seeing what is working and what isn’t.
21. Time out
Everyone needs time to reset. You’re a person, not a machine. Whether its time during the day to have a bit of time away from your monitor, or a day on the weekend that has nothing to do with work. You’ll feel better for it.
We hope that this list has given you some inspiration on some small changes that can make a big difference in your working day.