Wouldn’t it be nice if there were more hours in the day? It seems there is never enough time to do everything we need to do – much less, the things we want to do. However, learning to maximize the time we do have could make a big difference in our lives. Here are some tried and true strategies that could help you do just that:
1. Get more sleep – not less.
You really shouldn’t reduce how much sleep you’re getting in order to find more time in the day. That could be dangerous for your health, not to mention your happiness at work. Sleeping more might be a better idea. Being well-rested helps you be more productive, creative, and less stressed when you are awake.
2. Maximize your mornings.
There is a lot to be said for getting to work a little early. It could really help you get a head start on the day. No matter when you arrive though, the important thing is to use that good morning-energy rather than fritter it away. Don’t check email first thing, for example. Instead, knock a major item off of your to-do list, or hunker down and make some real progress on something challenging. The sense of accomplishment will help propel your productivity and positivity for the rest of the day.
Our phones can be a huge distraction, especially if you’ve enabled the bells and whistles of various alerts. It’s great to stay on top of what’s going on in the news, but you can pick and choose when to engage rather than being interrupted constantly throughout your workday. Take a good hard look at your phone and adjust the settings to maximize your control.
4. Be kind to future-you.
As you go through your day, make a point to consider how the decisions you’re making now will affect you tomorrow. Sure, today you might like to put off that dreaded phone call. But, think about how you’ll feel tomorrow if you get that done today. Making the best choices for your future self, rather than just for today’s you, could dramatically change your life and how much you get done.
5. Try to stay positive.
Attitude really is important. When your internal dialogue is negative and self-defeating, the only person you’re hurting is yourself. But, having a positive attitude helps you be more productive. You’ll solve problems more easily, work with others differently, and so much more. Don’t underestimate the power of embracing the right mindset to help you get more done.
6. Goof off a little.
Being happy is important. And, ultimately, it makes us more productive, too. So, have a little fun at work when you can. Enjoy your work-friends and have some laughs. It will renew your energy, your spirit, and hopefully your investment and enjoyment of your job too.
7. Question the timing of things – especially meetings.
A lot of folks kind of loathe meetings. Actually, 17 percent of people say they’d rather watch paint dry than attend one. So, question the timing of meetings that you have some control over. Are your client meetings always an hour? Could you do them in 50 minutes instead? How about 40? Think about how much time you could save by making some small adjustments.
8. Try working in spurts to find your flow.
Flow state is an optimal state of concentration that allows us to be our most creative and productive selves. It’s an excellent way to get more done in less time. Working in shorter spurts could help us achieve this state. To maximize productivity, try working in 90-minute intervals. Take breaks in between to renew your concentration and then reengage.
9. Take vacations.
If you’re really serious about maximizing your productivity and getting more done in less time, then you need to take vacations. The science here is clear – at the end of the day, taking breaks is good for productivity. You’ll get more done in less time if you use the time-off you’re entitled to.
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