Working smart and not hard should be your productivity mantra this year. Working harder is all about doing the most work for the time given even when the task is mundane and does not improve the bottom line. You could end up staying in your office until midnight then being the first one to check in tomorrow because you are doing a lot of work. On the contrary, smart work might allow you to spend the same time in the office and end up with a day free in your week because you cleared all work. You may wonder whether it is possible and the most productive office workers will tell you they can cope with deadlines and do more assignments than the average worker while still leaving the office on time. Consider the following time management tools to save time in the workplace.
Use single-tasking methods
Do one thing at a time so that you can go fast in your work delivery schedule. Multitasking introduces delays to your brain because you have to switch from one task to another and back to the one that you were on in the first place. Thus, you lose time as you reorient your brain with the flow of work that you touch and when you are just at the moment, you switch again to something else. Productive people do a thing at a time, and they block out everything else until after they finish, or when they decide to quit and work on something else. This tip alone can help you work two times faster than in the past.
Do it now
Do work now and do not procrastinate. The work you have tends to expand to fill the time that you have. The opposite is also true. You marvel at some days when you can do days work in a few hours because the deadline was due. The hack here is to make your brain function as though you always have a tight deadline even when this is a lie. Your mind can find an efficient way of tackling the problem as long as you do not distract it. Keep working and do not succumb to the false idea of waiting for inspiration. Just go with what you have, and the inspiration will follow.
You cannot do everything. You are human. Take your fill and say no to the rest of work assigned to you. Saying no might imply that you do not agree to deadlines you cannot meet. Say no to distractions and use noise-canceling headphones at work. Space your hours so that you are most productive when alone. Schedule everything else for the collaborative moments you have at work.
Develop a system or habit
Systems or habits allow you to do things fast and conveniently while not losing much energy. A system could include a to-do-it list that you create every evening and tackle every morning. It may consist of a way to check email after every four hours so that you do not have to keep checking every time. You could also include thirty minutes of catching-up time after your productive three to four-hour blocks. Once this becomes a habit, you will find it much easier to focus on the task at hand and say no to distractions.