Are you constantly drowning in your to-do lists and constant phone notifications? In the digitally connected world, we live in today, time is now the most precious resource. With only so many hours in a day, it’s important to work smarter (not harder), so that you can make the most of your time.
Here are 7 effective strategies to help boost your productivity and increase your output:
- DO THE PREP WORK AT NIGHT
As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Avoid the frantic rush every morning by doing some smart prep work the night before. Pack your lunch, pick out your outfit for the next day, and check your calendars to ensure you know where to be for the upcoming day. This will pave a way for a seamless morning routine – and perhaps you can finally sit down for breakfast at home!
- UTILISE TECHNOLOGY
If your schedule is prone to get hectic, look towards virtual help to keep you on track via an app like Google Calendar and any.do. Write down all the tasks you need to do and set due dates and reminders so you’ll never miss a deadline. Sync this with all your digital devices, so that you can access your lists on the go.
- SET UP AN EFFICIENT EMAIL SYSTEM
Your inbox is there to serve you, not the other way around. If you’re guilty of scoffing down your lunch while tackling emails, or looking at emails during dinner time with the family, it’s time to take action. Avoid typing out a lengthy email response if something can be said face to face or via a phone call in 2 minutes. If your job permits it, turn off your email alerts and allocate dedicated time slots throughout the day to check and respond to emails. This can help minimise distractions and allow you to focus on tasks that matter. If possible, avoid accessing your work emails on weekends. Set clear boundaries so you can get more out of your free time.
- WORK OUT IN THE MORNING
Always putting off exercise because you’re too tired or simply don’t have the time? Ditch these excuses and make time. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are your feel-good hormones. As a result, if you exercise in the morning, you’re more likely to approach the day ahead with energy and positivity. You may also sleep better at night. Try to wake up half an hour earlier every day to fit in a morning run or yoga class. If you’re really pressed for time, even some stretches in your house can do wonders to wake up your body.
There’s a common misconception that multitasking is key to efficiency, but that’s not necessarily true. When you multitask, you’re essentially splitting your attention and scattering your focus. Forcing your brain to take on too much can also result in cognitive stress and make you more prone to error. Rather, do one thing at a time and tackle it wholeheartedly.
- LEAVE YOUR PHONE ALONE
It’s hard to stay focused on any task at hand when you keep checking your phone every time it buzzes. Constant interruption can seriously affect your productivity as it takes time to restore your initial focus and get back into the zone. Place your phone in your bag or in a drawer so you can’t see it. If self-control is an issue here, ask a colleague to guard your phone during work hours. Don’t worry – your WhatsApp messages and Snapchats will still be there after 5pm.
Let’s face it, no one likes spending their limited free time doing household chores or menial life admin tasks. The good news is; you don’t have to. Whether it’s cleaning, vacuuming, gardening or even collecting your dry cleaning, you can outsource almost any task via online marketplaces like Upwork and Airtasker. Simply post the job, name your price and wait to see who would be interested to take your task on.