We’re all busier than ever. New technology tries to simplify our lives, yet we seem to have more to do and less time in which to do it!
Stress and overwhelm are at their highest levels and people are wary of “time management” which just seems to be a way to cram even more into an already ever-full day. Now it seems the Chancellor George Osborne will announce a shake-up of Sunday trading laws which could lead to round-the-clock shopping on Sunday. This was trialled during the London 2012 Olympics, when there was a sharp increase in sales. Research suggests that extending Sunday trading hours by just two hours could create 3,000 jobs in London. This would generate an extra £200million in revenue for the capital alone. Retailers will ultimately all have to boost their productivity and this being the case, what can we all bear in mind when it comes to boosting our own personal productivity?
Productivity is about using your time to achieve what’s important while being busy just means to fill your time with as much as you possibly can.
Here are 5 Top Tips for boosting your personal productivity:-
1.Batch low value tasks
If you have a few errands to run, or quick phone calls to make, then do them all in one hit.
For example, rather than going to the supermarket three times a week, make a list, just go once and buy in bulk if you need to. Answering emails is another example. Many of us are hooked to our emails and are constantly ‘on email’.
Aim to only answer your emails once a day. This way you’re not interrupted from doing more important tasks. Also, by batching your low value tasks together, you’ll find that you get far more done in a shorter space of time.
2.Create chunks of time
Create chunks of uninterrupted, focused time where you can work solidly for between 45-90 minutes.
Aim for this to be during your prime time and eliminate all distractions during this time. You will be amazed at how much more relaxed you are at the same time.
3. Don’t multi-task
This might sound strange in a world where were often told that multi-taking is the key to increased productivity. This could not be more wrong!
It is often said that women can multi-task better than men, and while that might be true, it only applies to low-value tasks. For example, answering the phone while filing papers. Anything that involved considerable ‘think time’ requires a single-minded focus.
This may not sit right with you – so try it for a week. Try focusing solely on one major task at a time and watch your productivity sky rocket!
Don’t multi-task, at least not when you’re doing high-value tasks.
Do things with a single minded focus and you could increase your productivity by at least 30-50%
When you set daily goals for yourself, prioritise them. A key distinction to go from being busy to being more productive, is to allocate your time to your highest value tasks.
Decide the most important task for the day, then the next most important, and the next after that.
This way, you’ll know that you are always tackling the most important task on your list and if anything comes up during the day and takes you away from your plan, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you at least achieved your most important goal for the day.
5.Write everything down
It doesn’t matter how well you try and plan and order your day, unexpected and new tasks will be thrown at you!
How many times have you had a plan for the day, and then something happens and you get so caught up in it, that by the end of the day you wonder what you actually achieved?
Whenever a new task comes up, write it down and compare it in importance to your already scheduled priorities for the day.
This one simple tip can save you a bucket load of stress and increase your productivity substantially, because more often than not, an unexpected task that comes up if often of a lower value than what you had planned for the day. So you can stick to your original plan.
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