Amp Up Productivity With These 5 Tips : Do you ever just look at yourself in the middle of the day and realize that you are not being productive?
Maybe you are busy, doing lots of things, but you still feel like you are kind of going around in a circle, or just running in place?
Busy time is not always productive time. I get people asking me all the time how to be better organized and how to get more done.
Those two things go hand in hand for sure, but you don’t have to be organized to be more productive every day. (It helps!)
Here are few tips that I use regularly to make sure that what I am doing is productive work, and not just busy work:
Keep a task list – every morning I look at my list of things to do and I make an actual task list for the day. I use a spiral binder that sits on my desk all the time, and I record the things I need to do in it. When they are done, I record the billable time I spent on that task beside it and consider it done. If new work comes in through the day, I add that to the list. That’s what I work with every day. I do also have task management software that I use but I do not like to go online every time I turn around to update things, so I use my paper notebook during the day and then update my online task software when I have time.
Don’t just think about it, do it! – Usually you will spend more brain power thinking about something that needs to be done, than actually doing it. Especially if it’s something you don’t really want to do. I try to get the ‘ugh’ tasks out of the way as soon as possible. I know for myself if I look at it all day long on my task list, the feeling will grow even larger. So bite the bullet, get it done, and move on.
Focus on what you are doing – multitasking is never productive. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are at it. It is not a good way to work. Take one task, focus on it, complete it, and move along to the next. Doing more than one thing at once is not only bad for your mind, it’s bad for billable time. The best way to make sure that you are minimizing your billable time on any task is to do that, and that only, until it’s complete.
Avoid distractions – many people I know get distracted very easily, and get taken away from the task at hand. If you are one of those people, try to keep a notepad handy on your desk. If you feel that you are getting distracted (ie if you think of something you need to Google, or if you want to check something out on Facebook, or if you are wondering if someone email you back about something), write yourself a quick note while you stay on task. Then when you are finished (or when you are taking a break) go and check out whatever it was you thought of. Train yourself to stay on task and you will get more done.
See how you did – at the end of each day, look at your task list and see how it looks. Did you get a lot done? As much as you had hoped/planned? If so, good for you! If not, what could you have done better? Managing your time well is essential in order to make money. I find by tracking everything I do in billable time is the key to keeping myself on task.
There are lots of things I do daily that are not billable, and that’s okay too. As a small business owner, and in my personal life, I still keep an eye on all of it to make sure that I am maximizing my time doing the things I need to get done. And that really helps me enjoy my down time too! (we’ll talk about that next time!)