Workers are constantly looking for ways to get more things done in less time. It turns out, the secret to doing more may in fact be doing less. That is to say, by eliminating some of your daily tasks, you can end up being a lot more productive and efficient on the work you do complete.
The reasons for this are obvious. There are only so many hours in the day, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the less time you have for each task. The result is you will be rushed and overwhelmed and ultimately fall short of the tasks needed to be completed while doing less than your best work on the tasks you do complete.
There are many ways to rid yourself of unnecessary work and increase your productivity. Here are a few examples.
Identify and separate the “urgent” tasks from the “important” tasks.
Chances are there are plenty of tasks on your to-do list that are not absolutely necessary. Think about tasks that you keep pushing back and rolling over to the next week as things slowly accumulate. The result is that you feel burdened and stretched thin, devoting unnecessary time to these tasks which takes away valuable time from other, more important jobs. Make the initial time investment to separate your urgent tasks from the less important ones. Staying organized and learning to prioritize will make you more productive, and lift a little weight off your shoulders.
Stick to your goals. Don’t let email become a distraction.
Good old email. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. It’s hard to deny how convenient email is, and how valuable it has become as a form of communication. However, if you’re not careful, it can detract from your overall productivity rather than improve it. Arguably the most important aspect of getting organized is learning to prioritize your tasks. Once you’ve filtered out the urgent tasks from the less important tasks, it’s time to do the same thing for your email. Don’t get caught up in unnecessary email chains. Don’t spend half an hour composing an email when the issue could easily be solved with a 2 minute phone call. Treat your email like a daily planner or as a quick reference when needed—not as a form of entertainment. Keep your daily time spent on email to under 30 minutes, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll accomplish.
Have a game plan for meetings and stick to it.
When having a meeting with your supervisor or manager, sometimes it’s easy to get off track. You may start off on the right path, but before you know it the conversation will gradually shift from work related items and on to more exciting things like your weekend plans, or last night’s game. Make sure you go into your meetings with a plan. List out all of the topics or areas of concern that you want to cover in advance, and stick to a time deadline.
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