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5 Tips for Working Smarter in the New Year

Posted on: January 19, 2017
Tags: Business tips
5 Tips for Working Smarter in the New Year

We all want to make our workday more productive without putting in extra hours, but sometimes it feels like an impossible task. 

Chances are, at some time in your life, you've either taken a time management class, or read about it in books. You may have even tried to use an electronic or paper-based day planner to organize, prioritize and schedule your day. "Why, with this knowledge and these gadgets," you may ask, "do I still feel like I can't get everything done I need to?"

The answer is simple. Everything you ever learned about managing time is a complete waste of time because it doesn't work. Below are a 5 tips for working smarter in 2017:

1. Rework your to-do list

One way you can increase your productivity is to write a to-do list with a limited number of prioritized action items. Choose 1-3 most important tasks (MITs).

The rest of your to-do list can be filled with other tasks to completed once you've tackled your MITs.that you would do as long as you complete your MITs. Consider writing your to-do the night before, and focus on one day at at time, if possible.

2. Measure your results, not your time

Many of us put in more and more hours only to find we don't get more done. Adjust the way you measure productivity. If you evaluate yourself by what you actually get done rather than the time it takes to get something done, you'll start to notice a difference in how you work.

Focus on measuring by results, not by time on task, and you'll definitely get more done.

3. Build habits to help you start working 

If you don't have a plan for what to work on first, there is a tendency to procrastinate and waste time in the morning. Try to build a routine that trains your brain to know its time to work. Your routine could be something as simple as your daily commute or grabbing a coffee on the way to work.

Other ways to get into a working mindset can include sitting down at your desk or workspace, turning off your phone or putting it away, exercising, stretching or eating breakfast. Consider playing music that gets you in the mood to work, and incorporate it into your daily routine.

4. Track where you waste time. 

If you're struggling to be productive, it's tempting to change your routine or try new solutions before you uncover the real problem.

The first step in becoming more productive is to identify your regular time-sucks. Start by tracking what you do every morning to get ready for work. You might find you're spending time on things such as choosing your clothes, which is something you could do the night before.

5.  Build habits to help you stop working

This one might seem a bit strange, but it really works. Some of us struggle to stop working, rather than (or as well as) start working.

It's easy to just keep going for another hour or to get your computer out when you get home and work until well after bedtime. The worst thing about these habits is that they encourage us to put off our MITs; we figure we'll be working long enough to be sure to get them done. Consider shutting down and putting your computer away at a certain time each evening, or better yet, take part in "Tech Free Tuesday" and commit to totally taking the night off.

Click here to read the article by Jemimah Abimbola.     

 

 


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