Working life is often a challenge, largely due to the amount of effort required to progress and the work we must consistently complete on a daily basis in order to be successful.
As business grows and your career progresses, your everyday workload can be increasingly time consuming and your daily tasks can seem unending.
That’s why it’s always best to ensure that you are doing everything possible to streamline your daily working tasks, in order to increase your overall productivity.
With a few things in mind, your own schedule can easily be fine-tuned and shaped to best fit your unique work scenario, whether a corporate mogul, a self-employed starter or something in between.
With smarter time management and the implementation of a few clever life hacks, you can re-organise how you work and get reinvigorated to breeze through the working day.
Get Your Calendar Sorted Out
Whether on a simple paper pad or using a app for your phone or computer, a calendar to map out your daily routine and keep track of all your important events, meetings, deadlines, and even minor daily tasks is essential to set your overall work rhythm.
It should be the very first thing you check each day and the very last thing you update before you leave work in the evening. The calendar is the go-to time management aid for any sensible businessperson and it can also work in organising many different areas of your life.
Fortunately, our lives are not just made up of business priorities and work tasks. You may also be a full-time mother, a volunteer at an animal home, or a coach for a football team.
Creating a well-rounded calendar that leaves room for these events in your life are equally important to the work itself.
Creating the perfect schedule requires successfully coordinating all aspects of your life.
Remind Your Future Self
If you make use of the default calendar app on your phone or desktop apps like Google Calendar, you can set handy reminders for all of your most important tasks and events.
Daily reminders are extremely helpful in keeping your schedule on task and on time. Furthermore, using these apps allow you to sync your calendar across devices, so you will always be notified of an impending deadline, no matter where you are.
Similarly, you can make use of your email settings and use reminders to help ensure communication is properly maintained. On most email platforms, you can flag incoming messages that require follow-up actions, as well as set a date and time for reminders to popup.
Ensuring you are always notified of important events and vital communication is a great advantage, and it allows you to remain consistent in routine task completion.
When Do You Work Best
Determine when you’re most productive and how often you’re most focused within your own particular work scenario.
After evaluating your workday and looking for trends, if you find that the mornings had produced the greatest amount of completed tasks, then alter your schedule to use that time period for your most challenging work.
It’s important to coordinate your schedule according to how you work best. If you’re the kind of person who needs some extra coffee to wake up and it shows, than coordinate smaller, menial tasks for the earlier part of your day and leave the heavy load until you’re awake, alert and ready to really work.
Automate or Delegate Where Possible
Do everything you can to automate any trivial tasks or mundane chores, such as utilising email templates for continuous correspondence, filters to prevent junk emails hitting your inbox, activating auto-reply while you’re away or consolidating your social media pages into one interface so you can manage all your profiles and notifications in easily and efficiently.
Also take time to sign up for paperless services where possible such as payslips or statements as these are not only better for the environment but also make processing quicker and easier.
These simple fixes will help your day to run smoothly and in a more organised manner.
Use automation to work smarter not harder. It might also be useful to take advantage of delegating tasks or outsourcing when appropriate. There are plenty of places to find this assistance, such as from coworkers or the team members you manage, or through sites like Upwork, websites that specialise in specific and solitary tasks.
Classify What You Can’t Delegate
There are obviously certain things you must do yourself, for sake of authority, authenticity, or experience. To properly balance the things you cannot delegate, try and reorder and execute them by way of their significance.
This simple classification of tasks should consist of a few kinds of categories, such as “dump it” for any work that has been cancelled or tasks that have been found to be no longer necessary, “park it” if there is no definitive deadline or if certain elements are pending before work can begin or “do it” for all the necessary tasks that have immediate or pending deadlines.
The next step is to then execute each “do it” task by order of their deadline date, and then follow up with your remaining “park it” tasks.
It can be tempting to focus on non-essential tasks instead of tackling more important ones, and there’s a reason for that.
Studies have found that we are often tricked by the nice feelings of accomplishment, and distractions like writing an email or posting a status update can provide temporary moments of this satisfaction, tricking us into thinking we are being more productive than we actually are.
What’s even more astounding is that recent studies in Europe are finding that the act of excessively checking emails and messages may actually be reducing your overall intelligence. Though this may not be your most impeding concern, it does warn that we should be careful of how obsessive some of our non-work behaviors can become.
Carry Out Regular Reviews of Your Day
Daily reviews will ensure that you’re always staying on task and that your pace is keeping up with the expected workload.
It’ll also keep you apprised of your improvement or any areas that may still be lacking. Gaining a third-party kind of perspective of your routine can also offer great insight. You might even consider enlisting the help of someone to play auditor once in awhile, such as a coworker or friend, to watch your routine and offer such insight, as a knowledgeable third party perspective. Feedback allows us to alter our routines and calendars accordingly, and the more coordinated and effective we can be, the better of our productivity will become.
Listen To What Your Brain Tells You
Despite what we may think, studies show that our brains might actually be more compelled to complete tasks, despite our seemingly vigorous desire to procrastinate.
In fact, our brains regularly show high levels of uneasiness when important tasks are left uncompleted, only to be shown as subdued by the actual completion of the task.
The study shows the importance accomplishment and even simple task completion has, and it may be the reason why we stress so easily when we feel as though progress is not being made.
The next time you’re feeling uneasy about finishing an important task, listen to your brain and accomplish it!
With all the distractions in the modern world, it’s critical to develop a sustainable work routine and complete regular tasks consistently.
Becoming more productive and streamlining your daily working tasks requires determination and some serious organisation, but it can be done, as long as you make the time count and follow through.
Though it may take some time and effort to establish and standardise your practices, it will inevitably save you even more time and help you work better, increasing your productivity in the long run.