Time is truly precious; once you waste it, you can never get it back. Think of it this way: say you spend five minutes every hour on Facebook—that’s almost an entire hour wasted by the end of your workday. Come end-of-day Friday, you’ve wasted almost five hours. This is when getting off track isn’t just a minute here and there—it’s valuable time, gone.
So how do you ensure that you stay productive and achieve all your daily goals (without wanting to pull your hair out in the process)? It’s not as hard as it may seem, or as miserable. Check out these 7 tips to help you harness your most productive self in 2016.
1. Avoid the snooze button
Sure, hitting the snooze button an hour before you actually have to wake up provides a sense of relief, but it also screws up your entire day. Many studies show that hitting the snooze button makes you increasingly tired when it’s finally time to roll out of bed. The more groggy you feel in the morning, the less alert and productive you will be throughout the day. Instead, place your alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed. You can also minimize your morning rush by preparing the night before: lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, and prep your breakfast.
2. Choose one big goal everyday
What is one important goal you want to achieve today? This is a question you should ask yourself at the start of each day. Make this one goal the center of your focus and make sure that no matter what, you get it done. Whether it’s closing a deal or designing a website, this should be a goal that is absolutely imperative to your success. It doesn’t matter how many small tasks you cross off your to-do list everyday—if you don’t get that one goal done, you haven’t been productive.
3. Break up your tasks
Big tasks can overwhelm you, leading to procrastination. If you break your big tasks into smaller pieces you will find that they’re easier to tackle and cause you less stress. After you have determined the one big goal you need to achieve for the day, break it up into a curated list of small tasks. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and more accomplished when you check off your to-do list.
4. Write down your ideas
Sometimes your best ideas come to you during your commute or while grabbing food with friends. That’s when a nifty note-taking app like Evernote can really come in handy. By jotting down each idea that pops into your mind, you can reflect on them later and avoid forgetting them.
5. Avoid Multitasking
Many may disagree with this tip because they work in an environment where multitasking is vital to getting things done. But before you disregard this tip, try it! By committing and focusing to only one task at a time you won’t only get it done faster, but you will do a more thorough job.
6. Turn off your cell phone
This is almost unheard of in today’s day and age, where we are in constant communication through text messages and social media worlds, but it can truly make all the difference in your productivity. Choose a set time to check your phone for a minute or two, and stick to it. You’ll be amazed at how much time and energy you put in other areas of your work when you limit the distractions of your cell phone.
7. Be Accountable
Sometimes simply telling yourself that you’re going to get something done isn’t motivating enough. By telling a coworker, boss, or client that you plan to complete an important task by the end of the day you’ll feel more driven to actually get that done. By creating a sense of accountability you will be sure to get done each and every pressing task.
Do you have any secrets to being more productive? Share with us in the comments section!