Have you had one of those days when you are talking over the phone with a friend or a relative, scrolling through your social media and its already noon and you realize you have not done anything productive so far. If this happens once in a while, its ok, but if this happens on a daily basis, you need to pull up your socks. You cannot just while away your precious time doing nothing and later be stressed about the pending work.
Not everyone can ace time management and there can be too many distractions to derail you from your task. But simple techniques and changes can help you get back on track and attain 100% efficiency.
- Don’t be in your PJ’s the whole day: One way to get up and get productive is to dress up. If you are going to be in your PJ’s the whole day, you won’t feel energetic and excited. So, freshen up, change into good clothes and get some work done.
- Declutter: Too much mess and things around can really demotivate and also distract you from work. Keep the space clean. Be it your kitchen where you have to cook or your workstation, wipe off all the things that are there to just take up space and nothing else.
- Get comfortable: With comfort comes efficiency. If you are made to sit where either the table is too high or too low, your hands will hurt, your neck will pain and so the constant discomfort. Make sure you find a spot where you can work efficiently and with more ease.
- Keep distractions at bay: Your work environment is meant to motivate you to be more efficient. It sets the tone for your work which requires concentration, while distractions can be many. If you are not working on your phone, then keep it away. You don’t want to unnecessarily spend time surfing social media when you have work at hand which needs your attention. Put the TV remote aside so you don’t get tempted to turn it on.
- Listen to music to boost productivity: Good music can lift your mood so if you are feeling unproductive and lethargic, tune into a peppy number. It will get you moving. Soothing music played while working improves productivity and helps being focused.
- Set a schedule /to-do list: Chart out your day’s plan. Identify what is important and needs urgent attention and what can be pushed to the 2nd half of the day. Try and complete all the tasks you have planned to make your day count.
- Beat the dreaded task first: It’s more than often that we push the most difficult task till the last minute. But it would be very fulfilling if you completed that work first thing in the day. You would feel relieved and happy for the rest of the day rather than being paranoid about it throughout.
- Keep a pen and a book handy: In this digital age, it’s good to be a little old school too. Always keep a pen and paper handy for any ideas that pop up, or any key things you need to do or simply write your thoughts. The key here is to get things out of your head and put them on paper. This is perfect for a person who has too many ideas and needs to remember them all.
- Follow Pomodoro Technique: Wondering what this is? Well, let me do the introduction. Pomodoro is a technique where you break the work into time intervals. Basically 25 minutes in length. You start by deciding on a task you want to complete and then set the Pomodoro timer of 25 minutes. You work on the task and when the timer buzzes, you put a tick on a paper for completing your work without being interrupted. Now take a short break of 1 to 2 minutes and repeat the process. For every 4 ticks/ Pomodoro, take one long break of 20 to 25 minutes. This way your efficiency increases and the chances of error due to lack of concentration is less.
- Productive Time Pockets: You have a meeting in the next 10 minutes but it’s not enough time for you to start something new. At the same time, you don’t want to just tap your heels while you wait. So, what can you do to be more productive in this little time pocket that you have? You can clear your mailbox, organize your desk or reply to a pending e-mail or file papers. Now let’s take an example of your home. Water is boiling and you have to wait till it is done. So rather than just staring at it blankly, use these 2 minutes to fold a little laundry, put the garbage out or set the table. Time pockets occur when there is a gap between two tasks, and you don’t want to waste them.
For many of us, time is an enemy and hardly by our side. We are racing against the clock to get things done and meet deadlines. But once we learn to befriend it, things can go as planned. One thing that can never come back is time that has gone by, therefore value it when it’s by your side and be productive.