Maybe you’re running a business? Perhaps you’re in college? Whatever the case may be, you’re in a position in which you must do substantial amounts of work on a regular basis.
The question you have is: how can you get as much work done as possible but put the least amount of work in at the same time? The answer is to work smart (not hard).
Need help doing so? Then you’re in the right place. Without further ado, here are 7 tips to help you save time at work.
1. Establish a Schedule
Perhaps the most important thing to do is to establish a schedule. Working without having established a schedule poses a number of problems.
For one, it leaves you unfocused, and thus makes your work last longer than you would otherwise. If you were to designate a specific time slot for a specific task, you could more fully focus on that task.
Another problem that’s caused by failing to establish a schedule is the problem of uncertainty. You go into the day unsure of what actually needs to be done. As such, you end up devoting time toward identifying tasks instead of just finishing tasks.
A schedule provides order to the day. It tells you when you need to be on, it tells you when you can be off, and it sets reasonable expectations that — if you just try — you can meet.
2. Set Alarms
When you’re jamming tons of responsibilities into a single day, it’s not difficult to become distracted by one or more of them. For this reason, you need something that will tell you when it’s time to move on. In particular, you need an alarm.
Help to facilitate your schedule by setting alarms at different times throughout the day. Start with your “wake up” alarm, then use a “work” alarm, then a “lunch break” alarm, and so on.
When you have something beeping repeatedly in your ears, you’re not going to be able to ignore it. You will respond, and you will stay on track. This will help you to manage your time, thus making your work easier.
3. Gauge Your Habits With Time Tracking Software
Part of becoming more efficient in your work is analyzing your work. This way, you can identify trouble spots and work to correct them.
There are a number of ways to do this but perhaps the best method is to use time tracking software. By recording the ways in which your time is used throughout the day, you can discover areas in which too much time is being dedicated, areas in which too little time is being dedicated, and areas where you might be able to squeeze in additional responsibilities.
There are all sorts of terrific time tracking software out there. Some of the best options include Toggl, Harvest, and FreshBooks.
4. Destroy Distractions
Distraction is the thief or productivity. The more distracted you are, the less efficiently you’ll work, and the harder your work will seem. As such, you need to destroy distractions as much as possible.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you need to take a sledgehammer to your TV or phone. You just need to make sure that they’re both turned off and that they stay off as long as you’re doing work.
As far as your computer goes, you might consider using an internet blocking software. This will keep you locked into the task at hand, preventing you from visiting other websites.
There are all sorts of internet blocking software on the market. Some of the most popular include Offtime, Moment, and Freedom.
5. Organized Your Work in Digital Folders
Just as file cabinets were used to organize paper documents 30 years ago, digital folders exist to organize digital documents now. If you’re trying to work as efficiently as possible, you should be making use of these folders.
In cloud-based services like Google Drive, you can create as many folders as possible. You even have the option to create folders inside of folders, opening up tons of organizational possibilities. And you might not know it, but Gmail allows you to create folders as well.
Don’t waste time combing through thousands of documents. Set up folders in Gmail and find necessary documents at a moment’s notice.
6. Dedicate Mornings to Your Most Pertinent Responsibilities
Not all responsibilities are created equal. Calling up a potential business partner, for example, is more important than designing a new logo, at least for the time being. Simply put, you should focus on the more pertinent responsibilities first, and then leave the less pertinent responsibilities for later.
How do you do this? By scheduling more pertinent responsibilities for the morning. The morning is best for these responsibilities, as it’s generally the most productive part of the day.
When you wake up, you’re ready to go. You’ve got coffee in your system, you just took a shower, and your energy levels are at their daily high. You don’t want to waste this productive period by focusing on unimportant tasks.
7. Schedule Breaks
Working constantly is sure to result in burnout. As such, in order to keep yourself fresh throughout the day, you need to schedule breaks periodically.
We recommend working for no longer than 3 hours at a time. After 3 hours, you need at least 30 minutes to sit back and relax. Stretch out, close your eyes, watch a bit of TV, look at your phone, and recharge for the next burst of work.
Work Smart With These Time Management Tips
When you have tons of responsibilities to tend to, you have to work smart, not hard. Fortunately, you can easily do so with the help of these 7 tips. Put them to good use and you’ll reap the benefits of optimal productivity.
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