This Sunday, March 14, Daylight Saving Time begins. Every year, as I’m adjusting the clocks scattered throughout my home (in the hall, by my bed, on the microwave, on my cell phone, on my laptop, etc. etc. etc.), I’m struck at how easily we can manipulate time. Yesterday, it was dark when I was leaving work; today, by the turn of the hour hand, it’s still light!
Which makes me think: On those days when the items on your to-do list are in the double digits, wouldn’t it be nice to just add an hour or two to the daily 24? There, I got all my work done AND I still have time for me, my family and a full night’s rest.
But until we can bend time (or freeze it so we can get “caught up”), we’re left to manage it. Like the clock-adjusting scramble every spring, it requires tweaks and changes that will help you stay one step ahead of your to-do list while keeping your sanity intact.
From an article on workplace productivity in G.Neil’s HR Library here are some tips:
Put it in writing. Write everything down and post it in a highly visible place to help clear your mind and allow more creativity to flow.
Prioritize. Organize your to-do list in order, with the most important tasks at the top of the list and those that can wait toward the bottom.
Just do it. If something on your to-do list can be completed within two minutes, do it right then and there for an immediate sense of accomplishment.
Be aware. Do your best to focus on one task at a time and be fully conscious in whatever you’re working on.
Find your best time to work. Tackle the most important tasks during the time of the day when you are most productive.
Guard yourself. Shut the door to your office, schedule a meeting with yourself or put on headphones to block out any unnecessary distractions.
Take a break. When you start feeling stressed or tired, step away from your desk or workspace and go for a walk.
Work with what you have. Accept the fact that there will always be something left on your to-do list at the end of the day. Go home, relax and deal with that task tomorrow.
Enjoy your time off. Use your days off to regroup and refresh. Time away from work is healthy and will improve your productivity when you return to the office. (See earlier post, Take your vacation days – you need ‘em! )