5 Strategies for Becoming More Productive Instead of Just Busy
Apr 05, 2021
Do you ever feel like you are really busy, but still not getting the things done that you want to? Do you ever feel like you did not stop all day, but that you don’t really have anything to show for it? I’ve learned over time that there is definitely a difference between busy and productive. When I am busy it makes me feel like I am getting a lot done but what I am getting done is often not the things that really matter. When I am productive, it makes me feel like I am doing things that move something forward.
There are many different strategies that can be implemented to increase productivity and I have shared a few of my favorite ones below. In addition to the strategies I am sharing below, consider what time of the day you are most productive and schedule your most important tasks for that time whenever possible. Also, focus on one thing at a time. We often hear people talk about the importance of being able to multi-task and keep up with many things at a time. While sometimes it is necessary to jump back and forth between a couple of things, research shows that we are less efficient and produce less when we are multi-tasking. That is because it takes our brains between twenty and thirty minutes to refocus on something after we are distracted from it. When you focus on one thing only, you can be more efficient, and you will also feel like you are making progress which is motivating.
5 strategies for becoming more productive:
- Make a list of the top 3 - 5 things you need to do each day. If you achieve them all and have time to do more that is great but focus on the big 3 - 5 things that you can do each day that get you the results you want. This can be challenging for some people. What I suggest is that you keep an ongoing list of all the things you want to do and then choose just the 3 - 5 most important each day. You can continue to add to and pull from your ongoing list as is needed. This is important because it will reinforce the habit that you finish what it is that you set out to do each day.
- Schedule your top 3 - 5 things in your calendar. Assign a time for each one. It has been shown over and over that we will use more time to accomplish the same thing if we give ourselves more time. If you tell yourself that you will get something done in an hour, you will likely get it done in that amount of time. If you don’t assign a time to the same task, it could take you two, three, or even more hours.
- Break down big tasks into smaller goals. Instead of writing down large tasks that will take days or even weeks on your list, write down the specific steps within the larger tasks that you will accomplish each day. For example, instead of writing down, “Write a book”, say, “Write chapter #1 of my book” or “Write 1,000 words of my book”. The second two goals feel much more doable because they can be done in a much shorter amount of time.
- Touch it once and only once. How much time do you waste checking emails, then going back to read them again, then finally going back and responding to them? When you are doing a task like reading emails, manage it the first time you read it. Either deleted it, delegate it, deal with it, or date it for another specific time. Also challenge yourself with the emails you plan to go back to at some point. Ask yourself if you think you really need to go back to it and will go back to it, and if it is worth saving and taking up time in the future.
- Cut out distractions. Whenever possible, remove any distractions. Distractions come in the form of phones, too many open windows on your computer, other people, wandering thoughts, and a cluttered environment. Do what you can to make sure you are able to focus 100% of your energy on the task in front of you, and you will get through it with more speed and ease.
Try these strategies consistently for a few weeks and notice how much more you can get done. At the end of each day review what you accomplished and start to identify if there are thing that are interfering with what you are wanting to accomplish. Make adjustments where needed until you have a clear process that you feel good about. What I have found is that there is no need to work harder when you can work smarter. Being intentional and focused will always get you the best results.
If you want an idea of what a daily schedule might look like, grab my Daily Schedule Template HERE. You’ve got this!!!
Live your best boss lady life!
Karen Vincent Solutions
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