Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, the key to improving productivity is to manage your time effectively. Doing so can also help your business grow or help you climb the career ladder. On top of that, you can maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal lives. Use these five time-management strategies to reap these benefits.
Avoid Making Too Many To-Do Lists and Multitasking
Having to-do lists may be essential to your success. It’s only possible for the brain to concentrate on three or four tasks at a time, and to-do lists keep track of the tasks that can be completed later. However, excess lists can cause stress, which harms your productivity. If you feel overwhelmed with 20 tasks, for instance, choose the five most important to do first.
On the other hand, you don’t want to multitask too much. When you multitask, your focus splits between those tasks, which can negatively impact the quality of your work. Instead, focus on one task at a time. Consider automating or delegating some of the tasks that are outside of your principal duties.
Organize and Unclutter Your Workspace
Having a disorganized, messy workspace is a distraction and makes you waste time looking for items that you’ve misplaced. Organizing and uncluttering your workspace removes the distraction and saves time later because you know where all of your items are when you need them.
Schedule Tasks Around Your Ultradian Rhythm
According to Parkinson’s law, you’re likely to spend all of your available time on a task if you don’t have a deadline. For this reason, scheduling deadlines for your tasks gives you more motivation to get them done and helps you use your time more efficiently.
When you’re setting deadlines, consider your ultradian rhythm, which are the 120-minute intervals that your biological clock goes through every day. Typically, you experience 90 minutes of high mental energy and then 30 minutes of low mental energy before the rhythm starts over. You can break up your tasks or complete them in batches based on your ultradian rhythm to get the most out of your energy.
Focus on Results Rather Hours Spent Working
Studies show that anxiety and inefficiency build when your physical presence and hours spent at work are more important than your accomplishments. You may even start to hate your job. It’s better for your productivity and mental health to place emphasis on how much that you accomplish each day. You can do that by creating a list of completed tasks.
Stick to a Routine and Care for Yourself
Humans are creatures of habit and can complete tasks faster when a routine has been established. The reason is that your brain doesn’t have to prepare for or think about the tasks before you perform them. Essentially, they become automated habits. Because of that, sticking to a morning ritual and work schedule can help you complete tasks faster.
Furthermore, taking care of your brain and body is essential for productivity. When you don’t feel well and are exhausted and stressed, you lose all sense of efficiency. Getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthy, and doing activities that you enjoy are the best ways to take care of yourself.
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