Getting through your day can be a hard thing when you’re busy, but if you plan your day you can make it work and not burn out in the process. Maximizing your time is an art form, and these few tricks will help you work through the 8 hour day and get the maximum done.
I appreciate the value of time and getting as much as possible done in a reasonable amount of time. We have to understand there are things that just take time, things that have to be done, but not fun to do, and things we enjoy doing. Some of these things happen on a daily basis, some are every once in a while. Either way, they need to fit into the time you have available each day.
However, it is an activity that takes my energy instead of giving me energy.
Distractions are a huge thing in life. It never fails, I get in the middle of a project and the phone rings, and low and behold it is something that needs to be addressed right now. We have to learn to allow ourselves those moments in time, so it does not throw our daily plan off by too much.
Taking a few moments at the beginning of your day, to access what needs to be done is a huge way to stay on task and make sure everything is being addressed for that day. I put on my calendar my major projects and, things that happen every week. I plan which day these things are going to be done and stick to what I have laid out, this does not mean you can’t tweak your calendar when needed, but once your day is laid out stick to it. Also, after I have looked at the calendar and seen what is on the agenda for the day I lay out the other things needed and make a list for what will get done for that day.
The idea of making a list is so that you know what needs to be done, but make sure you don’t over-do it. If you put too much on the list you can’t get it all done within the time allotted for the day. Also, you can pick the order, there are going to be things on your list that can be done in small portions, like email. You can look and process some, and come back to it several times throughout the day.
Distractions happen, someone will walk in needing something, call or even email needing something NOW; so, making your list work for you will allow time for these distractions.
· Answering business/personal e-mail
· Reviewing my calendar
· Replying to voicemail and texts
· Project due dates
· Looking at small daily to-do items
I usually start with knocking out some of the e-mails. This seems to keep some of the surprises to a minimum. I tend to bounce around and check other items off the above list, and come back to my e-mails. When I start to get fatigued with answering messages, I can then get quick wins with the other tasks. This builds momentum for coming back and finishing those bigger and tedious tasks on the list.
The two keys to making this strategy work is that distractions have there own place in your day, which allows you to keep coming back to the items on your list. If you struggle with getting through all the items on your list, it’s OK; make sure it is the first thing on your list for the next day, sticking within the deadlines of each item.