5 Ways to Instantly Get More Done Each Day

5 ways instantly get more done natalie meyerI am sure that you try to get as much into (and out of) your days as possible but sometimes there is just so much still left to do at the end of the day.  Try some of the following tips to see if they help you crack through all that you would like to achieve and leave you with a bit of time and energy for yourself at some point in the day.

1 – Identify your Best Time to Work Uninterrupted

Some people are morning people, others are night owls.  If you are a night owl then trying to work creatively first thing may not work for you.  If you are a morning person then waiting until nearly bedtime isn’t going to result in your best work.

Next look at what other activities you currently have scheduled for the time of day when you know you have the most energy and concentration.  If these are low value activities that could be done at another time of day then move them.  I am a morning person, when I get to my desk I want to be getting on with my ‘thinking’ tasks.  Admin tasks may need doing but I leave these for the afternoon when my energy slumps.  I get a second burst of energy early evening so I may well come back to work on ideas then.  I will have prioritised my key activities for the morning and ‘nice to do’ activities for the evening.

 

2 – Make sure that you can work Uninterrupted

We have so many items and apps that ping at us incessantly … if we let them.

Each time they catch our attention they take us away from what we are working on.  When we hear that email ping, a little bit at the back of our mind is wondering what the email is about, it could be exciting (more often that not though it isn’t).  If you are lucky you might be able to overcome this distraction, generally though the lure is too strong and you will ‘just have a quick look’.  By the time you have read it through and thought about it you will have lost time.  You might then think ‘I will just drop a quick answer back’ – that’s a few minutes more gone (and of course it sets up the chance of another return email to disturb you again shortly).  By the time you finish the distraction (which wasn’t important) and get back to the original task (which is important) you have forgotten where you were up to and so it takes a few minutes to go back through before you are back on track but in the meantime you have lost the ‘flow’ that you were in before the ‘ping’.

Turn off all notifications… email, Facebook, task managers,… etc.  Ideally switch your phone to silent (if there are any callers so important that they can’t wait for an hour then set it up that your phone will allow them through even on silent).

 

3 – Give yourself a deadline

It is well known that tasks expand to fill the time allocated to them.  Think how productive you are on the day before you go on holiday.  Apply the same principle.  Decide what you need to get done and how long you have available.  At the deadline you will know whether you really *need* to spend any more time on it or whether you are procrastinating about moving on to another task.  It is easy to keep going for ‘1 more tweak’ but the pareto 80/20 rule will apply. Will spending any more time on it really generate a substantially better outcome? Done is better than perfect.

 

4 – Automate whenever possible

The brain gets tired of making decisions as you go through the day.  If you want to save your decision making for the important tasks then take decision making out of routine items.

Have you thought about creating a routine for regular tasks, even writing down the steps.  Tedious things like banking entries, payroll forms, doing the housework would be ideal for this.  Create a step by step schedule or process.  It will make the task seem less onerous – you will spend less time procrastinating about it.  You will be more efficient at performing the task  – you won’t take as much time to do it (and you will get it done right first time).

 

5 – Batch similar items together

Have a look at your to do list.  What errands need running outside of home or work… do some of these need doing in the same place?  Do you need to make some phone calls… do these together as you will be in the right mindset.  Several admin tasks that you keep putting off because individually you can’t quite summon up the enthusiasm for them… batch them together so that it makes it worthwhile sitting at the computer, putting on some tunes and cracking on with it.

 

What do you think?  Which of these methods do you already use?  Which one are you going to implement in your life this week?  Drop me an email to let me know how you get on.