Productivity for Professionals

art_timemanagement-resized-600There’s always something to occupy our time. There’s another meeting, another project, and another power lunch to attend before jet setting across the country on a business trip. How do you manage all the tasks put on your plate in a timely manner? There are many tips and tricks, which are listed below, but ultimately it’s up to you to implement them. Give these a try and you’ll have free time in no time.

#1 – Set Priorities

Get your most important projects finished first, then move on to the lesser tasks. Maintaining a list of priorities helps with your ability to focus, as well as your productivity. Your top priority is the project that is due first or that requires the bulk of your attention. Once that’s finished, move on to your smaller tasks.

#2 – Focus on One Project at a Time

Don’t divide your time and attention between several projects. If you’re constantly bouncing back and forth between projects, you’re more likely to require downtime between projects. Instead, focus on one project, complete it fully, then move on to the next one.

#3 – Take Breaks Only When You Need Them

Don’t feel like you have to get up and get a cup of coffee every 45 minutes or every hour. Take a break when you absolutely need one. When you take a break, you shift your mindset and getting refocused may take awhile. On your breaks, make sure you do something that doesn’t require much thought, like going for a quick walk or doing some light cleaning, so that when it’s time to come back to work you’re focused on the task and not what you just did.

#4 – Work Away From the Office

If you are awarded the luxury of being able to work from anywhere, consider getting out of the office for a while. Don’t plop down in front of the TV if it’s going to distract you, and don’t think that just because you are able to work from home you can sleep in—you’re actually being held under a microscope to see if you remain productive. Try going to a coffee shop instead.

#5 – Delegate

You’ve got a team that can handle most of your tasks. Don’t be afraid to give them some of your workload if things get overwhelming. Be sure to assign them tasks that aren’t of the utmost importance, and listen to their needs. If they have a lot on their plate at the moment, don’t give them more than they can handle. If you’re forcing all your workload onto them, they’ll start to feel resentment toward you, which won’t help office relations.

#6 – Write Everything Down

As soon as a task comes up, write it down. Often, people forget about tasks and end up having to rush to get them finished. If you’re writing everything down, you’ll never forget anything. Also, be sure to write down how much time you’re spending on each task or project. It will help you budget your time later with similar projects.

#7 – Leave Work at Work

The best way you can improve your time management is to leave work at work and enjoy downtime at home. Don’t bring papers home with you, don’t prepare for meetings, and don’t answer emails. Your living room is not your office; your office is your office. When you allow yourself time to truly shut down and forget work, you recharge for the next day.

Time management is a tricky task, and often it’s not something that can be mastered quickly. Use these tips to make sure you’re spending the appropriate amount of time on each task, and give yourself ample time to relax.

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