In order to increase productivity and efficiency, many people use certain time management techniques to keep them motivated and on track. You can get as complicated as you’d like with time management by using multiple computer software programs, calendars, and intricate schedules, but enabling yourself to get more work done in less time can be simpler than all of that.
Create a Basic Schedule
Even if you just make a short list on a scrap piece of paper of everything you need to get done in a day, this mini-schedule can go a long way in keeping you focused on what you need to do. You can get as creative as you’d like with your scheduling system, but be sure to indicate priority on your list and get the most important stuff out of the way first. It can also be a good idea to give yourself a rough estimate of how long you think each task will take so you can determine if there’s something that should be moved to another day, or done early if it’s quick enough to knock off the list.
If you can, turn off your phone and ignore your e-mail. If you work at home, arrange child care for your kids for at least part of the day to allow you to work without interruption. Unless listening to music or TV helps focus you while you work, turn off anything that provides distracting background noise. Don’t forget that your own mind can be distracting, so try to keep it clear and think only on the task at hand.
Take Breaks and Get Rest
Working when you’re tired or burnt out can result in either a lot of procrastination or a lot of mistakes. You’ll actually be saving time for yourself if you take breaks when you need them and get back to work once you’re refreshed. Producing low quality work as a result of tiredness will require you to spend more time fixing things later. However, you’ll want to be sure you’re only actually taking breaks when you need them and not using them as a reason to stall.
When you do feel like giving up on a project or calling it quits early on in the day, try to find reasons to motivate yourself. Making a list of goals can be a great motivational tactic to remind yourself what you’re working towards. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, complete a few of the easier tasks on your list so you can cross them off as that could give you a bit of a moral boost that will encourage you to continue on.