In our day to day life we always prefer planning of our tasks and effectively doing time management. But it always happened that we are running out of time for important and urgent tasks. I am jotting down simple seven tips to improve productivity and do effective time management.
1. Prioritize the most important tasks first
Focus on most important and essential tasks first, identify top 2-3 most crucial tasks at a given point of time and let the rest less important and other trivia tasks wait. Concentrate on these essential tasks, nothing else should bother you, immerse yourself completely and with all focus on those task. By completing essentials first, you will save lot of time by not worrying about it and by not having need to respond to follow-ups and distractions.
Additionally, you will have better focus, efficiency and confidence for rest of task.
2. Eliminate the non-essential, Clear the clutter
Our lives are full of excesses and clutter. When we identify that excess and remove the clutter, we become more and more in touch with what is important and what deserves our time. Evaluate the need and value of the tasks which you are planning to undertake. As a quick assessment tip, analyze the nature of activities where you spend your time in last 1 week or 1 month, you will be surprised during assessment that at-least 20% to 40% of your time is getting utilized in non-value work. This is universal Pareto Law , our 20% of utilization of time in top tasks generally leads to 80% of our delivery. Off 24 hours in a day, we generally achieve 80% of critical output in 5 hour of working. By cutting clutter , we can be much more efficient.
Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down Cutting down some non-essential task will immediately ensure minimum 10% more available time, continue optimizing it week by week.
3. Learn to say “NO”
At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about , anything which is not aligned to your larger goals should be a Big No.
4. Delegate transaction task, as much possible
To the extent possible, delegate the tasks which can be delegated. You will amazed to do introspection on the scale and quantum of tasks which remain non-delegated. Most of time we think coaching and bridging skill gaps of the resource to whom we are planning to delegate may itself take significant time than to do it ourselves. Yes, you are right, it may take significant time on initial 2-3 occasion for specific type of transaction but it is worth investing looking at potential of time sharing after that.
Investing 2-3 x more time on preparing for delegation today will ensure cutting down immense time in future. Delegate all possible methodical, transactional, repetitive, non-decision making tasks.
5. Leave a buffer-time between tasks
When we rush from task to task, it’s difficult to appreciate what we’re doing and to operate optimally, focused and motivated. Allowing ourselves buffer-time between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains.
While taking a break, go for a short walk, trivia talk, coffee break or anything else which relax the brain and help in recharging for next task.
6. Have a good Sleep, Never Skip Meals
We, at time, think sacrificing sleep or skipping meals is a good way to increase productivity and our body can bear it too however this is not the truth. To optimally function and avoid breakdown, our mind need adequate rest and our body need adequate nutrition, deprivation will soon or later lead to lack of focus, efficiency gaps, decision delays, anxieties while necessary care to mind and body will ensure focus, solution orientation, innovative ideas, better decisions, organized work flow and confidence.
We provide adequate service, recharge and rest to our cellphone, laptops, our Car, AC, TV but somehow, we may do the mistake by taking our brain and body lightly.
7. Utilize Free Time for Development
There are days when we are occupied with loads and loads of tasks and there are days when we have reasonably, ample free time. Our ability to manage and utilize that free time determine our response on the days of excess load. Use available free time to develop yourself which can make you more efficient, it can be as simple as learning Excel, Word , PPT features which you may not be aware off to coaching your resources for delegation to networking with your Colleagues for best practices or ideas for your field to reading article and books to acquiring to new relevant skills.