Do you often feel pressed for time by the growing lists of tasks and the rush to meet deadlines? Are you always busy, stuck to your desk, putting in hours at end? More often than not, being busy is having a lot to do and less to show for it. If you tackle tasks mindlessly, one after the other, it results in you expending time and energy in a less efficient manner. Here are a few ways to help you be more productive instead –
You have tasks at hand, more come your way and now you have a plateful of them. You have bitten more than you can chew which of course can be credited to the fact that you don’t say no or haven’t heard of prioritizing. Rather than taking on every task being sent your way, prioritize them on the basis of urgency and importance, delegate them further if required. A way to do it is, listing down tasks in the order of their deadline and the amount of time required for you to complete them. Task management apps that have to-do lists are one way to do it. This gives an overview of what is to be done and acts as a guide in helping you make a decision which tasks to tackle first.
Focused, Smart and Relaxed work
It’s 2019. If you still think that multitasking gets more work done, effectively and efficiently, then you have been believing in a myth debunked long ago. According to Harvard Business Review, when you focus on more than one thing, it reduces your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points. Concentrating on one task at a time will get the job done faster, because multitasking slows things down by confusing your brain. It is one of those things, the more you do, the worse you are at it. You can even make use of apps and browser extensions such as StayFocused that help in battling distractions. Making use of tools, templates etc for repetitive tasks is a smarter way to finish tasks, in a lesser amount of time. When you have chalked out a plan and are clearer in the head about what steps to take to complete the tasks, you are relaxed and not rushing to just finish the work at hand and move on to the next one. Tasks done in haste, often have more chances of error and you may end up spending more time rectifying those mistakes. Focus on giving your best by being thorough, instead of just completing the work.
Give directions to your tasks
You are just filling up your time with tasks instead of seeing each task as stepping stones that amounts to something bigger. Keeping yourself updated with industry trends can help you make effective decisions about the best plan of action for a particular task. Productive people are more in tune with their work and are very conscious of what they have worked on, what they are currently doing and what is all this leading up to. In short, they have a vision. They identify the fallacy of their methods, accept if something doesn’t work or is no longer making the task efficient, proactively rectify or change their tact, whatever the need be.
Take a break
The ‘work hard’ attitude does more harm than good. Over working, taking on extra projects, and not taking a break just to chase deadlines is not only ineffective but affects work performance, productivity and your well-being. Take breaks, rest your mind. 90-minute working intervals are considered the most conducive for quality performance and productivity, according to a study by Florida State University. Arianna Huffington, author and businesswoman, best known as the founder of Huffington Post, makes sure to take ‘pauses’ throughout the day. Like her, you can use meal time as your way to pause and recharge.
Many of us don’t realize but as we hurtle to finish tasks after tasks, we get overwhelmed and, in the process, invite stress. It’s time we realize, being busy doesn’t spell being productive. We all value our time and would like to save and utilize it. Let’s say, you love reading and would like to do more of it. By managing your tasks and being productive, you’ll be able to free up your time to read more ( See Job Crafting ) and eventually have a more fulfilling work-life.