In today’s fast paced world, we often times have so many things to do that we don’t know where to start. This can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and if you’re not careful and ultimately lead to leaving many things until the last minute or even missing deadlines all together. Well it doesn’t have to be this way.
Following these 5 simple steps can help make you become more organized and maximize your productivity:
1) Make a list: Think about the tasks that need to be done for the day and write them down. This list is important because you will be able to visually see what needs to be done and one by one cross them out as you go. This is more effective than leaving it to your memory and perhaps forgetting some important tasks along the way. Also, seeing tasks crossed out as you complete them can give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going. Some like to make their lists the night before in order to start right away as soon as they wake. Others prefer to make their lists on as soon as they start their day out of preference or because they won’t know what their tasks will be until the day of. Whichever one works best for you.
2) Important tasks first: Don’t waste time on smaller meaningless tasks at the start of your day as this can waste your most productive hours. It is no secret that most people start to decline in productivity as the workday progresses. Get the important stuff out of the way first!
3) Give yourself a deadline: This is often the reason why some people never follow through on their goals, because there’s no sense of urgency. How many times have you said to yourself “I didn’t get around to what I wanted to do, I guess I’ll do it tomorrow.” This is the definition of procrastination and we’ve all experienced it at one point or another. Set a timeline for each task. Put a time that you wish to complete the task next to each one to make sure you don’t have an opportunity to procrastinate. This method has worked for many people including yours truly.
4) Hold yourself accountable: After you’ve made your list, assigned important tasks as priority, and given yourself a deadline now you’re ready to begin, right? Not so fast. In my experience accountability is often the key factor that most people underestimate or forget to include all together. Attach a consequence to not completing your tasks. For example, “if I do not complete task #1 I will have to cut a check of $100 to the organization I dislike the most.” Define who that organization will be and tell someone (friend or family member) that will make sure to follow through if you should fail. This can be the kick in the pants that some people need!
5) Stay away from distractions: Let’s face it, it’s difficult sometimes to stay focused because the phone rings, or you check your emails, etc. If those two are not a part of your tasks, cut them out. A national survey conducted by fuser.com claims that 87% of U.S. internet users spend on average 7 hours a week checking email accounts or social networking accounts. Think about what you could do with that time?
I’m not saying to neglect your vices all together but a healthier alternative would be to finish a certain amount of tasks or all if you can and reward yourself with a limited amount of free time before continuing with your objectives. Just remember to keep it to a minimum.
Have a fantastic Memorial day weekend, and I’ll talk to you again next week.
Certified Performance Coach
p.s. For more personalized information on how to establish an effective plan of action and achieving maximum results, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org