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6 Ways To Get More Done With Your Time

6 Ways To Get More Done With Your Time

You just sat at your desk for 3 hours and you realized all you accomplished was starting the email you had to write, checked the weather and beat your best level on Flappy Bird. It happens to the best of us.  Sometimes it is hard to get focused and buckle down.

We say that we want to get more done, and then we just don’t have the time or energy, and we don’t know where to start. Here are some tips to help you move in the right direction.

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1. Spend more time working.

Hold the phone! You mean, I need to do more than my regular 40 hours each week?  Nope, that is not what I’m saying at

get more done

    all.  I’m saying schedule your work.  My productivity increases when I started setting specific times for specific tasks, instead of trying to multi-task.

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    There is an amazing tool called the Pomodoro Timer.  It allows you to set the timer for up to 25 minutes, which helps you to stay focused on one task. After 25 minutes, take a quick break and set the timer (or your cell phone timer like me) for 25 minutes again and work on the next project.

    2. Delegate and/or eliminate your work.

    There are probably things that you need to do and there are things you can delegate or outsource.  I read Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” and it broke down a couple things that really put it in perspective for me. I had to write out ALL of my tasks that I think needed to be done. Then I had to separate them into the things that were Urgent & Important, the ones that were Urgent & Not Important, the ones that were Important & Not Urgent and then the ones that were Not Important & Not Urgent.

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    For the Not Important & Not Urgent, I was supposed to just let those tasks go.  For the Important & Not Urgent, I could delegate them out. I would suggest creating a process/system around it so when you have someone do it for you, they have the full instructions.  For the others, you can schedule times to get them done. Obviously, do the urgent and important tasks as fast as possible and then create a process or system for the next task, which could be something you delegate out down the road.

    3. Exercise your brain.

    When you do brain exercises, it helps you to be more productive, think faster, and it allows you to be more creative too!  Plus it makes you feel good knowing that you are increasing your brain power, right? Right!

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    4.  Use technology to your advantage.

    Using technology can be a curse and a godsend all at the same time.  Something I have found helpful for me is turning off my internet or using one of the apps that blocks certain websites at certain times to help me get more done.  Also, I use my Google Calendar to plan all of my meetings or completion dates, which helps me to stay up on what needs to be done by when so that I’m not dropping balls.

    5.  Set goals and break them up in to milestones.

    This is important for me because I tend to be a bigger picture person.  I love looking at it as a whole, but then I get overwhelmed, and I don’t get things done like I should.  To solve this problem, I write down the main idea, and then break it up into smaller steps (or milestones) that will help me get to the final goal. When I break it down, I’m not as overwhelmed and I get more done faster.

    6.  Take time for yourself.

    This is kind of like scheduling time for work, but scheduling time for yourself.  When I go 2, 3 or 4 hours without taking a break, I don’t get more done. I start to slack off and my mind starts wandering and then my smart phone comes out, and I’m back to playing Flappy Bird and being unproductive.  But, if I know that after 1 or 2 hours of work, I have 15–20 minutes of “me” time, it helps remind me that I will be able to check my Facebook or do some “me” stuff for a little bit.

    What are some tips or tricks that have worked for you to be more productive and get more done?

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

    16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

    The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

    How about a unique spin on things?

    These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

    1. Empty your mind.

    It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

    Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

    Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

    Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

    How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

    2. Keep certain days clear.

    Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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    This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

    3. Prioritize your work.

    Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

    Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

    Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    4. Chop up your time.

    Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

    5. Have a thinking position.

    Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

    What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

    6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

    To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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    Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

    7. Don’t try to do too much.

    OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

    8. Have a daily action plan.

    Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

    Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

    9. Do your most dreaded project first.

    Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

    10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

    The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

    11. Have a place devoted to work.

    If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

    But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

    Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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    Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

    12. Find your golden hour.

    You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

    Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

    Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

    Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

    13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

    It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

    By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

    Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

    14. Never stop.

    Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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    Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

    There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

    15. Be in tune with your body.

    Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

    16. Try different methods.

    Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

    It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

    Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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