Looking for how to be more productive? First rule: Learn to manage time effectively.
Second rule: Plan ahead.
Have you ever wondered why you work hard every day, so busy that you don’t even have time for yourself yet you achieve so little at the end of the day? Journey with me as I unfold the eye-opening methods you can use to start being effective and not just busy.
In this present age, we have lots of things that can keep us occupied that we won’t even realize that time is far spent, things like movies, games, social media, internet just to mention a few, with great use and benefits, can also serve as time-wasters – depending on how we use them.
Being effective implies being productive, bring able to focus on the important stuff. I have had this experience myself and I write to educate my readers on some of the ways I have changed my routine from being so busy to be effective.
How to be more productive?
Here are a few tips that will help you be more productive:
- TIME MANAGEMENT
Time is one of the greatest assets we have, we get it for free and it’s so invaluable, it can’t be replenished. Once lost, it cannot be gained, which is why utilizing it effectively is important to our progress.
The biggest mistake you make is that you think you have time Click To Tweet
In general, we should spend time on things that add value to us. Every human being is gifted 24 hours a day, but some people are high achieving and some are just there with little progress, the difference is in the way we spend our time. Highly achieving people know the value of time, hence they learn how to manage time, while under-achieving people don’t manage it well. Which class do you want to belong?
- ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD
There is a popular saying by Benjamin Franklin that “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”. Planning means looking ahead. Even though in most cases a plan needs to be updated, it good to have one because it will serve as a framework for the process. The need to plan cannot be overemphasized, it makes work faster and easier.
- SET PRIORITIES
Even when all tasks look important you must have a list of the ones you want to accomplish first. You might choose to tackle the hard ones first before doing the easy ones because if you expend energy on the easy ones first, the hard ones becomes harder to accomplish. Let’s take, for example, you ate a student.
You have an exam tomorrow and a date today, it will be better off to prepare for the exam first before going to the date, because you might probably be too tired to read when you return from your outing. We all know the potential outcome when a student fails to prepare for an examination. In essence, finish the most important tasks first, this way you are more efficient.
- STOP MULTITASKING YOURSELF
Some people try to do more than a thing at a time, thinking they accomplish more that way. In reality, it works the other way round, sometimes our jobs get so overwhelming and all the tasks look so important that we don’t even know where to start, and we try to focus on more than one thing at a time. Well, here is my advice; Focus on one thing at a time.
Studies have shown that multitasking only increases time costs and makes tasks more complex which results in reduced efficiency. It’s therefore important to ensure that you do not multitask, focus on a thing at a time.
- WORK SMARTER
Imagine if Bill Gates is the one doing all of the work himself, from being the CEO to being the manager, the designer, the programmer, the marketer etc, do you think he can do all the work himself? It’s impossible. Working smart is what all the CEO’s, company owners, entrepreneurs and all high achieving people do. Listen, you don’t have to do all the work yourself that’s why we have professionals skilled to do the task for a reward. For instance, if you want to cut down a tree with a blunt axe, what will you do first?
Sharpen the axe, or
Try harder using the blunt axe.
Of course you will agree with me that sharpening the axe is the solution. That’s the ideology of working smart, you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself, hire people who are skilled to help you, that way you reduce the bulk of the work you ought to do, this way you are more effective.
- SET BOUNDARIES
Highly productive people know when to say yes and when to say no. The less achieving people say yes to everything. In his book “Boundaries” Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend made an illustration of a woman named Sherrie that doesn’t have the habit of setting boundaries, she thinks it will be unfair to turn some people down, she accepts people’s problem as her own at the expense of her problems, she solves people’s problems but ignores her own, and she even use her religious beliefs to back it up.
Eventually, that habit took a toll in her life and family affairs. She started having marital problems, her husband was no longer loving, her daughter was depressed and all sort, because she wasn’t able to give then enough time. Here is my advise, set boundaries, while solving people’s problems, remember yours too, if you don’t have the habit of setting boundaries you will always be busy with other people’s affairs and your own life will experience little or no progress or the problems might start taking a toll on your affairs too just like it took a toll on Sherrie’s life.
In this busy world, we must balance effectiveness and busyness to ensure progress. I have shared quite a few tips on ways to start being effective. I hope you enjoyed it, feel free to add your ideas in the comment box below.