You sit at your office or working table at your working hours, but do you really do something productive? – That’s a million dollar question, right?
With all the web-based tools and technologies and social networking tools/sites it is really hard to be productive these days. Sadly all those technological gadgets and apps were invented to make us productive.
In general we are often prone to be dragged by these sophistication and the ultimate victim is the our productivity. Even though we easily cast the blame on technological advancement, we are solely responsible for what we are able to achieve and what we are not able to achieve.
We are accountable for our time. I strongly believe that by having an inventory of how our time is spent, we can have more control over it.
Rather than getting frustrated over incomplete projects and worrying at the end of the day about not getting anything done, its better to analyze how our time is spent!
Here are some pointers to help you analyze your time!
Identifying essential Vs non-essential tasks
We come across various kinds of tasks in a given day. There are tasks that need to be done now or the sky will fall. There are tasks that are quite complicated but don’t have to be done right now.
But those complicated tasks need to be started right away so that you may proceed with the baby steps!
There are tasks that are quite simple, but might not need to be started and completed right now.
Only you know what tasks are important and need to be started right away and what tasks can be postponed for tomorrow or next week.
Stephen Covey’s four quadrants of time management come in handy to help you identify your essential and non-essential tasks!
Having a systematic schedule (usually requires a strategy)
It is normally advisable to plan a thing ahead and depending upon its complexity/toughness it can be broken into easy-to-do pieces. Fix a time, place and a deadline for any task.
You cannot be creating a plan for each and every task; rather, having a time management strategy in place will help in having a systematic schedule.
Have a plan for your typical day. Have a routine.
Of course many people think that having a routine will be boring. But you can always by pass that feeling by breaking your routine on weekends; or if you’re a work-at-home lucky fellow, you can break your routine for any two of the week.
Delegating helps with productivity
This may sound too formal or big, but an individual (not only a company) can also outsource those task-bits that are beyond their expertise. Of course, this may not always be possible for everyone, but whenever possible, don’t hesitate to ask your friend/teammate/expertise.
Asking help from your family is the simplest and smallest form of delegation you can think of.
And you can go up to hiring Virtual Assistants, In-house assistants, Managerial staff, outsourcing tedious/boring tasks on Odesk, Fiverr etc.
Delegation helps free up a lot of your time where you don’t necessarily have to use your hands on a task. You give instructions to the person who helps you with it and then you move the task off your desk.
Hope these tips and the cheat sheet help you with being productive.