There are a lot of reasons. Some people are naturally gifted at this skill of prioritizing their time. Others have learned how to be more effective with their daily tasks.
There are some skills that you can learn to help you get more done each day. Here are some tactics:
1. Take care of yourself first
- Exercise for at least 20 – 30 minutes per day. Exercise is one of the key factors in giving you the energy you need. Many people work out first thing in the morning to start the day alert and ready to go. Some men work out during lunch to give them energy for the rest of the day.
- Sleep 7 – 9 hours. Sleep is key to being productive. The most productive people get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. Test this to see what works best for you. There are those that brag about how little sleep they get. Sure you can do this for periods of time, but eventually you are going to get sick or suffer burnout symptoms.
- Power naps. Many highly productive people take naps during the day to stay fresh. These are 10 -20 minute power naps. This will be dependent on your work environment. Some large companies actually have nap areas or rooms. If you can’t do this at work, you may want to experiment with it on weekends.
- Eat Well. Eat protein in the morning and as the day goes on add carbohydrates. Food consumption will depend on how many calories you burn during the day. Don’t have a huge carbohydrate load at lunch time. This will leave you feeling sluggish.
- Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the day.
2. Plan the day.
- Take time in the morning or evening before to plan your day. Take the time your prefer, either at the end of your work day or in the morning before you get started, to plan the work day and list out what you want to accomplish for the day.
- Rank you list. Rank the things you want to get done during the day from most important to least important.
- Schedule harder tasks first when fresh. Take your list and take the hardest task and get it done first.
- Take Scheduled Breaks. Schedule breaks into your day. You should take a 5 – 10 minute break every 30 – 40 minutes.
- Get away from the office for a break. Take 30 – 60 minutes to get away and have a break away from the office between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. depending on what works best for your schedule and work cycles. If nothing else just go for a walk to get some exercise and fresh air.
3. Stay focused
- Use a timer. Use a timer to remind you to take breaks. Most cell phones have timers on them.
- Turn off email and instant message reminders. The pop ups are distracting and will make you want to go off task and answer them.
- Do not answer the phone and emails when you get them. Do not start the day by answering email. Block time increments of 15 – 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon to answer emails and your phone.
- One time as many emails as possible. Trash the ones you just read and don’t need. Set an offline folder for the ones you can read later. Take action and return the ones that are important. Delegate emails that can be answered by another team member.
- Block Time for Social Media. Block 20 – 30 minutes to read social media and do posts.
- Take Scheduled Breaks every 30 – 45 minutes. Use your timer to not miss these.
- Keep a notebook and pen by you to prevent yourself from multi-tasking. As you get ideas or things you want to do jot them down so you can do them later.
- Determine the value of your time. Take your annual pay and divide it by 2080. This will give you your hourly value based on a 40 hour work week. When you are going to do a task determine if it is worth it for you to do the task or to delegate it.
- Delegate the tasks to an assistant or team member that can do the task for you. If you are fortunate enough to have someone you can delegate to then make sure you are using that person’s skills effectively. Delegation can be hard because many highly efficient people usually like control. Delegation to a qualified team member will help you to get more done during the day. The sooner you learn that the sooner you will become more productive.
- Hire a virtual assistant. In today’s world of technology many people are using virtual assistants to help them be more productive.