Ask Away...: 5 Guaranteed Ways To Be More Productive With Your Time

Friday, March 9, 2018

5 Guaranteed Ways To Be More Productive With Your Time

Have you ever started reading something on the internet and then an hour later you snap out of it and pull yourself back up from the Google hole you went down, only to find yourself wondering how you possibly just lost an hour of your time to the internet?  Well, it happens.  Many of us struggle to meet deadlines, are always running late, and forget things that we were supposed to have done.  The key is time management but you can't manage your time if you don't know how to be productive with it.

Even though I'm a very organized person that thrives off a daily routine, I still find myself getting distracted by something and then I end up scolding myself because I didn't finish the original task I started.  So I wanted to put together 5 guaranteed ways that you can be more productive with your time.  These aren't hard things to do either, it's just that sometimes we don't think of these tips unless someone else is telling us.  So you're welcome!

Use Lists
I have a list for everything.  I have shopping lists, daily to do lists, weekly task lists at work, and even an ongoing Things To Do list.  A list not only helps you put all the things spinning around in your head down on paper but it can allow you to prioritize them.  Some people always feel like they're in a tizzy because they have so many things running through their mind.  "Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning." "Remember to add sugar to the grocery list." "Ask hubby if he can fix the broken door hinge in the basement." 

Make a list of everything that needs done each week.  These are the recurring things like work assignments, chores, and tasks.  Use a planner or calendar to house these items.  I have a weekly planner on my desk at work.  Each day I come in, I see a list of the regular tasks and assignments I need to complete and on which days they need done.  I also have a weekly calendar for my personal life that I carry around in my handbag. It contains things like reminders to workout, return library books, groom the dogs, etc.


Establish A Routine
This goes hand in hand with making lists.  You can't do all of your weekly tasks in one day so break them apart and assign them a day of the week.  Some people just wing it which is great but if you're like me you won't feel organized that way.  For instance, Fridays are always grocery and errand days, I work out on the same 4 days of the week, and the dogs are groomed every other Thursday.  I also have a routine that goes minute by minute too.  Like I do things at the same time every day.  This keeps me constantly moving forward in a routine and I end up making a better use of my time. 

Put the Phone Down
So before cell phones, computers and TV were huge time suckers.  And when social media came about people were spending too much time chatting.  But now, thanks to our phones, we can have the internet and all social media channels right at our fingertips which means we'll waste a ton of time because one click leads to another.  Have you ever found yourself on someone random's Facebook page exploring through old photos and then you ask yourself how you even got there? Yeah, exactly. So put down the phone.  Lately, I've been keeping my phone in my purse so that when I get home from work I can focus on getting stuff done around the house instead of plopping down on the couch and getting lost for 2 hours.

Set A Time Limit
Time limits are a great way to keep yourself disciplined.  Maybe you want to take a break from life and read a book before you start dinner, so go ahead and do that but make sure you determine a time that you need to stop and move on to the next task.  This is especially useful at work.  I will start working on a big project and I know that it can suck me in and I will get behind on checking my email for other incoming tasks so I sometimes will tell myself that I can work until say 10:30 and then I need to take a break and check emails. This is also great for simple things like watching TV.  Allow yourself to watch only until a certain time and then commit to doing some cleaning around the house.  You still deserve down time just don't let it consume you when there are other things that need done.

Streamline Tasks
Some people just feel like they have too much to do but not enough time to do it.  That's when I tell them to streamline where possible. Are you constantly running late in the morning because you are scrambling to pack your lunch, get dressed, and get your work stuff together? Then do some of it the night before. My lunches are always packed and in the fridge the night before.  I decide on outfits for the week every Sunday night.  And all of my stuff I need to take with me to work the next day is ALWAYS sitting next to my purse. 

What's your biggest struggle when it comes to being productive and time management?

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