Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but there are those who manage to use every minute of their time with maximum efficiency while others simply waste it. How many times have you said to yourself that you would organize your time to become more productive? Let’s see what you haven’t tried yet in order to do more things during the day.
1. Plan your day in advance
Use at least 15 minutes before the bedtime to plan your upcoming day, no matter whether it’s going to be a busy day at work or a weekend with the family. For smarter planning, create to-do lists using either your notebook or task management apps on your smartphone. If you start your day with the analysis of those tasks, it will give you a clearer picture of how busy your day is going to be. For easier execution, divide each task into separate stages.
2. Go to bed today and get up tomorrow
To get up early, you need to train yourself to go to bed before the midnight. Healthy sleep is one of the most important factors of your productivity during the day. Early morning is not just about having more time. Scientists claim that those who get up early feel more motivated to follow the plan they initially created. In addition, morning is usually the most productive part of the day, so it’s not recommended to use it for sleep. Even those who claim they are more productive at night, often change their mind when they switch to a different regimen and have an early morning.
Start your day with a short meditation session to relax your mind and body. Just 5-10 minutes will be enough to feel energized and ready for a busy day. It will also help you visualize your day, focus on the most important tasks. You need to feel you are ready to start this day and be as productive as you’ve never been before. Whenever you feel stressed or preoccupied during the day, meditate for at least 1 minute and you will feel much calmer and relaxed.
4. Prioritize tasks
At times, you have dozens of tasks you need to complete by the end of the day. But you will be more productive if you divide them according to their urgency. You’d better work on some creative projects or tasks that require your analytical thinking before the noon when you are the most productive. If you know that you usually get sleepy in the afternoon, you’d better do some physical activities at this time, like jogging, house cleaning, or some tasks at work that don’t need a lot of concentration. Don’t postpone urgent tasks for later – you will feel much safer if you deal with them as soon as possible.
5. Evaluate your time
When you have either a specific hourly rate or you can calculate at least an approximate rate, you always will remember that your time is money. Let’s say, if your rate is 30 dollars per hour, it costs you 15 dollars to browse through your social media timelines for 30 minutes. Don’t let yourself waste your precious time. Hopefully, you will treat your time as more valuable resource and thus won’t spend it on unnecessary things that do not bring you any satisfaction, money, self-development, or health benefits.
6. Learn to say NO
Whether you need to work hard or study a lot, there will always be lots of distractions on your way. Whether your friends want to invite you somewhere when you are too busy, or there is someone who wants to chat with you on social media, you need to set priorities. It is important to be able to say NO both to others and to yourself. That’s not to say you have to ignore your friends or avoid any fun. You just have to find more suitable time for that, on the weekends or in the evening after a busy and productive day.
7. Set deadlines
When you get down to any task, create realistic deadlines and strictly adhere to them. It’s the only way to complete all the tasks you’ve planned for the day. It’s important to “feel” time and understand how quickly it’s passing by. Don’t set deadlines that are impossible to meet. Otherwise, you will eventually stop considering them as something serious. By setting deadlines and meeting them, you will learn to schedule your day activities with better precision.
8. Don’t be afraid to delegate
If there is something that takes too much of your time and you feel like you could do more important things instead, try delegating those tasks. You cannot handle everything on your own. Your productivity gets lower if you are responsible for too many things. Get involved only in things you enjoy doing or those that you cannot entrust to others. If you are a creative person, stay away from routine tasks – you will always be able to find some students or freshers who will gladly do such jobs for low rates. Even if you are an employee in a company, don’t think it’s irrelevant to talk to your management about your responsibilities and some preferred changes to them. If you feel like the company would benefit more from delegating some part of your job to someone else, you can always talk about it.
9. Do one thing at a time
If you do two or more things simultaneously, it causes distractions and you fail to stay productive. Let’s say, you are working on an article and decide to check your email where you find a request from a potential client. What the majority would do is reply to this letter, even though it’s not urgent. As a result, it distracts you from the task you were previously working on and it takes some time to return to it after you reply to that email. Even if you feel like you need a break, it’s better to have all the breaks in between the tasks rather than interrupt them in the middle.
10. Read something new when commuting or waiting
In busy cities, commuting time can reach nearly 2 hours. Daily! Add time when you have to wait at the airports, for your friends in cafes, at the bus stations, or in queues. It’s definitely unreasonable to waste this time. Read new motivational articles or books, some technical materials, or simply learn new words from the language you are studying. Constant reading and learning will act as motivation and make your day more productive and effective.
Boost your productivity and achieve more
Your productivity during the day is everything – it’s your success at work, your ability to combine family life and career, and your ability to find time for personal self-development. You need to know what motivates you the most, try different ways to stay productive and always remember why it matters in your life.
Richard Nolan is a blogger and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of blogging, self-growth, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, students, and teachers. At the present moment, Richard works as a general blog editor for ProWritersCenter