No time to get things done? With the right planning you can work more quickly without any unnecessary stress. These tips will help you become more efficient and balanced, both at work and outside.
Start by taking a look at how you use your time. The best way to do that is to keep a written record of how much time you spend on which activities for a week or so. Before starting work in the morning make a brief note of what tasks need to be done. Set priorities: Think about which tasks are most important and urgent, and do these first. Allow extra time for each activity and plan some buffer times between tasks. This way you don’t feel under pressure when things take longer than planned or something else crops up. An extra tip: Wherever possible, get your most difficult tasks done at times of the day when you generally perform at your best.
Salami tactics and a break from your mailbox
Make sure to concentrate on a task for a certain amount of time. Take a break when necessary. Don’t let yourself be distracted by colleagues, calls or e-mails. In the latter case, switch off any audible and visual notifications for incoming messages. Ideally, only check your e-mails at three set times a day and ignore your mailbox the rest of the time.
Big tasks should be broken down into small steps. Think about what would be the smallest step to take on the way to completing the task – for example, if you have a report to write, the first step might be to put the relevant documents in order – and divide the steps into various stages. These can be spread over several days.
Keep trying to incorporate these strategies into your day-to-day working life so that they become routine. Keep at it – it’s worth it.