Do you ever feel like there is too much to do and too little time? Fear not! Use these 5 tips to increase your productivity and save time on your tasks.
1. Schedule your day according to your circadian rhythm
Scheduling your day ahead at least the night before brings clarity on what priorities you need to accomplish and helps prevent aimless wandering around and procrastination. When setting up your schedule, consider your internal clock (the so-called circadian rhythm) and your most productive hours and organize your day according to that. For example, if you are a morning bird rather than a night owl, try to tackle your most challenging tasks first thing in the morning when your productivity and focus levels are the highest, and organize your less demanding tasks for the afternoon hours.
2. Give yourself a time limit on tasks
According to Parkinson’s Law, "the work will fill the time available for its completion”. This law essentially means that if you have a whole day to complete a one-hour task, your mind will see this task more complicated and therefore, it will take you the entire day to accomplish this minor task. Instead of getting it done right away, all the extra time will be wasted on procrastination and pondering irrelevant details.
However, you can use this Law to your advantage. By setting up shorter deadlines for yourself, you can create a sense of urgency and thus, avoid procrastination.
3. Complete tasks in small batches
While multitasking has become a popular notion in recent years, focusing on more than one thing at a time actually decreases focus and productivity. Yet, many of us still find ourselves interrupting our own focus time by answering emails, responding to colleagues and similar tasks. In order to increase your productivity, try to group similar tasks into small batches and do them together at specific times of the day. For example, allocate some quiet work time in your schedule when you only focus on progressing with a problem and turn off any distractions during that time. Similarly, check and reply to emails only in the beginning of the day and once in the afternoon to decrease distractions.
4. Put away your smartphone
Smartphones are the major productivity killers for many of us - looking at them repeatedly can actually reduce our focus and extend the time we spend on a task. To escape the psychological urge of checking your messages and social media, put your phone out of your sight while working and do not take it out until you reach a milestone in your task.
5. Do not strive for perfection
Striving for perfection in your work can be exhausting and can also freeze you and prevent you from completing your tasks. If you want to execute everything perfectly, you may take up excess time pondering irrelevant details and procrastinating. Doing your best does not mean perfection - good is more than enough.