We all want to get the most out of our work day. But culprits that impede progress are everywhere: lack of planning, distractions, and mismanaged time. Sound familiar? Probably too familiar. The good news is that you can stop the cycle.
Want to be more productive and boost your results on a daily basis?
1. Plan in advance. Sure, it may take extra time to plan a to-do list beforehand. But it will also help you to begin the day organized and focused on exactly what you need to accomplish. When you have a ton on your plate, it’s easy to forget things that you’d probably rather not leave to chance. To avoid the ‘oops-syndrome’ simply set aside time to orchestrate your work week in advance. Consider blocking out a good 20-30 minutes every Friday (a day that’s usually slower-paced and easy-going) to plan what you’d like to execute the following week. Break up the tasks by chunking them into your schedule a few items per day; depending on how much time and focus they require. Don’t overbook. You want to make sure that you actually accomplish what you set out to do.
2. Cut the crap. We’ve all fallen victim to the excuse called ‘distractions.’ They’re everywhere: social media, water cooler chats, phone calls, someone else’s problems, less important but more appealing work–they’re all very enticing for sure. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t get lulled away from our primary work, right? However, when we allow distractions to become a regular part of our routine, we end up with the short end of the stick: We always have an excuse for why something important didn’t get done and nothing to show for it. Stop making excuses. Stop letting distractions get in the way of things that matter the most. Exercise discipline, anticipate distractions, and learn to say no to people and things that get you off track.
3. Check-in and assess progress. Keeping track of your progress is a critical component of setting and achieving a goal. Sometimes we realize that completion is more complicated than we anticipated. For example, sometimes there are upsets, such as moving parts that we did not anticipate, or additional help required beyond our area of expertise. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to check-in and see how we are doing, rather than simply putting the goal on the shelf and allowing it to gather dust. A cool tweak may be just what the doctor ordered–an effective ‘jimmy’ that can otherwise save the goal from the proverbial graveyard. Consider assessing your progress both at daily and weekly intervals to see where relevant hacks can be made to boost success.
Are you feeling less than productive on a regular basis? If so, consider utilizing the above strategies to help you become more focused on the goals you need to achieve. You can effectively navigate the way forward by planning tasks in advance, confronting distractions, and assessing your progress along the way.
To your success.
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is the founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport or visit her website, www.wordsmithrapport.com.