No matter how hard you might try to squeeze more time out of each day, the limit will always be 24 hours. You have to spend at least a few of those hours eating, sleeping and taking care of yourself, so here’s what you can do to boost productivity and make the most of the time left over for work and life.
Take a deep breath, and let go of the idea of achieving perfection. Trying to make everything “just right” bogs you down down with details, and you’ll only succeed in driving yourself crazy.
Use a pen and paper to make your personal and business to-do lists. Productivity apps have their benefits, but nothing can replace the tactile experience of writing out the day’s goals or the sense of satisfaction you get from physically checking or crossing tasks off upon completion.
Start with a template citing the things you have to accomplish on a daily basis, and add to it to create a customized list for each day. This minimizes the amount of time it takes to create the list and ensures you don’t miss any necessities.
Put the most important jobs at the top of your list, and consider whether there’s anything you can work on simultaneously. Is there a task requiring inactive time during which you could complete a few smaller tasks? Can you group tasks, such as making calls while driving to a meeting? Use this grouping method to eliminate chunks of idle time.
Adopting new time management methods takes practice, and it will likely feel awkward at first as you try to find the right rhythm. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and how focused you are at different times. Start scheduling your most important or demanding jobs during the periods when you’re most alert. Create set windows of time for tasks you repeat every day, and avoid going over the allotted period so that your whole schedule isn’t thrown off.
Business tasks like marketing, content curation and posting to social media are easier to accomplish with the help of automated tools. Instapaper, Flipboard, Pocket and others make it easy to discover shareable content without spending hours scouring the web. Platforms like HootSuite and Buffer allow you to plan social media content in advance and deploy it in the background while you concentrate on more important work.
Before today is over, grab one of your to-do list templates to start a list for tomorrow. Include whatever tasks you didn’t accomplish, and prioritize according to importance. Don’t spend time worrying about whether or not you got to everything. Instead, review your approach, and make any adjustments necessary to be more efficient in the coming days.
Try putting these tips into practice to boost business productivity and get more enjoyment out of your personal life each day.
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