You’ve done it all: wrote your to-do lists, ignored breaks, extended extra hours to clear all your tasks in a day. But despite all efforts, why does it seem futile? Aside from keeping yourself off from distractions, planning your day, and working smart, there are other effective ideas you can try to get more work done in less time:
1. Create templates for recurring tasks.
Templates and checklists are a great way to speed up routinary tasks. If you’re sending daily or weekly reports, you can set up template emails which you can fill out easily. Preformatted powerpoint presentations can save a lot of time especially with on the spot requests.
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2. Set a cap on your to-do list.
When it seems like the 24 hours in a day isn’t enough, this might be because you try to do things more than what you can handle. Keeping a laundry list of workload can be quite overwhelming. Set a cap limit on your to-do list. Instead of having a 10-item list, try to limit it to 5 items for the first day and do the remaining 10 on the second day. This way, you’ll be able to allot enough time for each task and not cram. Cramming may affect the quality of your output and can be in fact, counterproductive. As the saying goes, “do it well that you may not do it twice.”
3. Use timeboxing.
One great strategy in getting more work done in less time is planning in advance how much time a certain task will consume to be accomplished, and then sticking to it!
For example, if researching for a 1,000-word essay already takes you two hours, you may want to remind yourself to stop and start writing it after one hour and finish it within your set time frame –no extensions permitted. Though it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to finish a task in the allotted time it can certainly help with your focus.
4. Start your day early.
What’s the best way to get more things done? Start your day early. Many would argue that mornings aren’t for everyone as some people say they’re at their most productive in the early morning while others perform better at night. However, it’s no secret that your morning routine can have a direct correlation to how the rest of your day will go. Instead of snoozing your alarm for five times, why not get up straight on the first alarm? If your preparation and other morning rituals already take a lot of your time before you can actually start on your tasks, try to plan and set your things the night before.
5. Communicate your workload.
If you are working on a group project, make sure to communicate your tasks to your teammates. Don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever you need one. Teams that communicate well complete projects quicker and more efficient than those who don’t. Who knows, they might have their own productivity techniques and you can learn from them?
6. Set a time for breaks.
Set a working time where you’ll just focus on your task without interruption and followed by a break. Over-taxing your physical and mental resources like skipping lunchtime or working past late night can be detrimental to your health.
7. Do things in batches.
Do similar tasks together. Answering to emails and checking on your feeds should not be done sporadically throughout the day. For example, check and answer all emails in the morning. After clearing your inbox, you may want to proceed to brainstorming or researching followed by writing.
Whether it’s at school, home, or at work, staying productive throughout the day doesn’t mean you need to over exhaust yourself. Don’t be afraid to try the tips above and see which strategy best works for you. There are a lot of great things that are bound to happen to your 2019 and it starts with setting your day right.