"So much to do, so little time."
We often hear that line from so many people especially when the month is about to end, and most are trying to beat the deadline, preparing month end reviews and reports. While there are instances when the time is really a constraint, facing this ordeal every day can be draining - mentally and physically. However, there are several things you can do to better manage your time and get things done and on time. Below are tips on how you can be more efficient and productive:
1. Get organized.
It helps to have a planner where you can list all your tasks and To Dos on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This will help you itemized all the things you need to get done without missing out on anything relevant.
Categorize according to the level of priority. Identify priority in terms of urgency, the time when a specific task needs to be completed and submitted, or according to the amount of time needed to have them completed.
3. Set timelines.
After listing your tasks and identifying your priorities, set a specific timeline for each task. Be strict in following the timelines you've set.
4. Allot time for quick breaks.
Let's admit it, those "quick" coffee breaks can often lead to an hour of tete-a-tete. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and it's not wrong to have conversations with people. Not only that it helps relieve the stress from the work grind, it can also be a source of fresh perspectives that you can apply to work. Plus, having a good relationship with your workmates is a must to have a toxic-free, healthy work environment. However, make sure that you set time limits and follow the schedule.
5. Identify distractions and work on a weekly to a monthly schedule.
Knowing the things that eat up your time will help you decide which to eliminate and work on a certain schedule where you can still do these things at a more appropriate time or day. Identify a day in your week when you think it is best to incorporate possible distractions into your schedule. Weigh your options and learn to be smart which one to choose. If you tend to linger on your shopping, then schedule grocery and mall errands every Saturday afternoon or after all work for the day or week is accomplished.
The essence of leadership is trust. A leader is one who creates leaders. Work in such a way that you are able to build people of potential who can do the things you do and take your place when you have to be somewhere else. Identify people you can delegate some tasks to and free your hands to work on more urgent tasks.
7. Have a checklist.
As soon as you get something done, put a check on your list and move on to the next. When we get too pre-occupied in the tasks at hand, sometimes we tend to repeat and mull over things that are already done. It helps to have a checklist to ensure no repetition of tasks.
8. Set time for multimedia, social networking devices.
In between breaks, you can browse your news feed for 5 minutes, post an update for 3 minutes and reply to a comment or hit "like" for 2 minutes. 10 minutes a day is not so bad. After all, it always helps to be up-to-date. Just make sure that it doesn't eat up all your time and sacrifice the things that need to be done.
9. Have a good night sleep.
Insufficient sleep makes you sluggish, easily tired, and worn out. It also slows down the brain and makes you lose focus so easily. Sleep early and sufficiently and wake up to a more alert, more productive you.
10. Feed your body...and mind.
In as much as sleep is important, having your meals on time is equally important. Eat the right kind of food to nourish your body and mind, and eat your meals on time. This will ensure you stay healthy, fit and energetic. Unhealthy people tend to be late for work often or go on sick leave and this leads to work piling up, waiting to get done until you come back.
11. Know when to say no.
Do not say yes when you know you can’t do what you are being asked to do. A great deal will only backfire if you’re unable to fulfil it. Prioritize your existing commitments and consider the responsibilities involved before accepting additional contracts outside your scope. Know when it's too much for you and your team to achieve.
12. Do your best, but don’t focus on perfection.
Perfection is never attainable, excellence is. Give it your best and learn how to be satisfied with the result. Sticking to a specific task and waiting until you've polished it long enough until it is perfected according to your standard not only wastes valuable time that could have been spent on the other tasks waiting to be completed, it is also a wasted effort. Why? Because you are aiming for something that cannot be attained - perfection!