There are times when you have lots on your plate, but the time available doesn't permit you to do as much as you'd like. You could feel so overwhelmed that your mind can no longer comprehend the situation and feels like giving up. You probably even tried your hardest, but things seem to keep piling on.
This scenario calls for you to schedule your tasks. Use time management tools to help. For example, post-it notes are easily visible on your desk and allow you to prioritize what you need to do. You can use different colors for different tasks according to importance.
For example, use red post-it notes to prioritize unfinished tasks, yellow notes for essential functions that aren't urgent, and green notes for critical tasks that you must complete immediately.
What other time-saving tips can help you work faster and get work done? Consider these tips:
1. Reach out to people before meetings.
It shouldn't be surprising that meetings take up more time than anticipated. However, you can reduce this stress by speaking with participants before the meeting.
● Find out if they can make it and if they want to add anything to the agenda. That way, your meeting won't go longer than expected.
2. Remove all distractions.
Sometimes, it seems that no matter how hard we try, distractions always keep popping up. However, if you can keep your desk free of distractions, you'll be able to focus better on the task at hand.
● Take out all the unnecessary items on your desk, so you're less likely to get sidetracked with other stuff.
3. Start the most challenging tasks first.
Some jobs are easier said than done. Rather than working on all tasks at once, start with the most difficult ones first.
● That will allow you to feel more accomplished as you complete each task. And by the time you complete your major ones, the rest will seem easy!
4. Do most of your work at your most effective time of day.
Everyone has a preferred time when they are most alert and productive. Also, different people have rhythms unique to them that work in their case. And sometimes, one person's rhythm will backfire when someone else tries to adopt it.
● Scientists believe that these differences result from age, education level, personality, and life experiences. And interestingly, just because you're a morning person does not automatically mean you should do the most demanding work early in the day.
● Sometimes, your less-than-optimal times are your best times. Your goal is to find the time for your unique situation and get work done.
5. Make use of templates.
Templates are great because they let you accomplish everyday tasks with a few mouse clicks. For instance, if you need to check off multiple items on a to-do list each day, you can use templates to pre-fill individual tasks with relevant data.
● Templates are quick and easy, and they can save you a lot of time over doing it manually. You can also create templates for repetitive tasks. Take a moment to look through your chores and find out which ones you can do with a template.
● Then next time you need to complete something, insert the appropriate data into the template for quick completion.
6. Practice saying no more.
Saying "no" is a skill you can develop over time. The good news is that if you practice saying "no," you become better at it. Make it a point to avoid feeling guilty when you can't commit to doing something.
● Instead, choose to prioritize your tasks and focus your efforts on those that matter most. Saying “no” can easily make you three times as productive because it frees you up to focus on what matters to you.
Be more intentional about your time and focus on using your time wisely. Use time management tools to easily keep track of things like due dates and times. Those few extra minutes you'll save per day will add up to a lot over the long haul.
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