If you secretly wish for more than 24 hours in a day, you are not alone. Most startup owners share the same story – crunched for time. Yes, my friend, a wish to have more hours in a day is ubiquitous.
As you can’t have more than 24 hours in a day, you should make the most out of your time. And the only way to do it is to be more productive.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the top seven simple ways to do more in less time.
Without further ado, let’s get straight to these productivity hacks:
Make A To-do List
Working without a to-do list is like shooting in the dark randomly and expecting to hit targets.
“To-Do Lists are essential if you’re going to beat work overload. When you don’t use them effectively, you’ll appear unfocused and unreliable to the people around you.”
A to-do list not only keeps you on the track but also helps you set priorities.
Here is a trick to leverage the power of your to-do list.
Plan small, easy tasks for the beginning of the day. When you complete these small tasks and cross them off the list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. This will motivate you to finish later tasks quickly.
Track And Limit Time You’re Spending On Tasks
You must keep tabs on the time that you are spending on each task to complete. This way, you will be able to track the passage of time. You can use a timer to track the time you are going to spend on each task.
There are many time-tracking apps available these days. Choose the one that works best for you. Remember, my friend, you will have to make each minute count if you want to be super productive.
Have Self-imposed Deadlines
They make us restless, they snatch our night’s sleep, and they give us stress. Nobody likes deadlines. However, believe it or not, self-imposed deadlines are very much helpful in completing tasks on time and doing more.
In his article on Psychology Today, Christopher Bergland, said,
“Dopamine is the fuel that keeps people motivated to persevere and achieve a goal. To produce more dopamine, get in the habit of setting deadlines and completing goals in a timely manner.”
Do you still need a reason to have self-imposed deadlines?
If you have a habit of chatting and checking emails during work, you should stop it immediately.
It is killing your productivity and destroying the quality of your work. Yes, my friend, distractions eat your time and kill work quality.
What’s more, you can feel significantly higher stress, workload, frustration, and pressure only after 20 minutes of interrupted performance.
With the constant barrage of instant messages, emails, cell phone, social media messages, calendar reminders, and more, it can be a bit difficult to focus on the work. But there is no way out.
You need to take prompt actions to reduce distractions. Here are the top three practical tips to reduce distractions while you work:
Turn off all the chat and email notifications on your laptop and put your mobile on the silent mode while working on critical projects.
Hang a ‘don’t disturb board’ on your office door (Believe me it works).
Quash your inner child.
You will be surprised to see that you can do more once you reduce distractions.
Take Brief Breaks
Now, you must be thinking that how it is possible to do more if we take short breaks during tasks.
A new research found that brief diversions improved focus and increased productivity.
After a long time, working on the same task, our brains numb out a bit due to constant stimulation. A short break, even a walk up to the coffee dispenser, can fill us with renewed energy. And we will be able to finish the task at hand quickly.
What’s more, physical movement can break stagnancy in the mind.
So you think you will be able to complete more tasks if you’re multitasking.
Right? Absolutely wrong.
Multitasking kills productivity.
Professor Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said,
“Don’t try to multitask. It ruins productivity, causes mistakes, and impedes creative thought. Many of you are probably thinking, “but I’m good at it!” Sadly, that’s an illusion. As humans, we have a very limited capacity for simultaneous thought — we can only hold a little bit of information in the mind at any single moment.”
Multitasking can reduce your productivity up to 40%.
Stop juggling too many tasks and focus on one task at a time. Your productivity will dramatically improve.
Delegate Non-core Tasks
You are not Superman. So stop acting like the one. The point here is you cannot do each and every task with the same efficiency.
If you do every task yourself, you will be soon burnt out. Yes, my friend, startup burnout is as real as it gets.
You should delegate non-core tasks, such as email labelling, Internet research for collecting web data, and more to others and engage only with tasks that need your attention.
Delegating can ensure you that more tasks are done in less time. And you will not miss any core tasks.
No matter what many people say, being productive is not a personality trait. In fact, it is a habit.
You can also achieve more in less time if you make a to-do list, track and limit the time you’re spending on the tasks you complete, have self-imposed deadlines, reduce distractions, take regular breaks, delegate non-core tasks, and quit multi-tasking.
About The Author
[The author of this post is Sandeep Rathore, a certified content marketer and the founder of QuickScream – a blog about content marketing for startups.]