How to Squeeze More Productivity From Your Day
Each day comes with 86,400 seconds, a tremendous amount of time to get things done. Those seconds are made up of 1,440 minutes or 24 hours in one day, but the reality is that you’re only going to use a portion of that time to get your work done; but can you have more productivity?
Most of us spend eight hours at work each day with managers and small business owners putting in 10 to 12 hours if not more. Increasing your productivity can help you become more profitable and allow you to squeeze more from your day. With more productivity you will find that you increase your earnings and happiness; so here are ways to have more productivity:
1. Order your tasks. Granted, you may find that you’re putting out fires while at work, handling problems throughout the day. This means that your schedule may be pulled apart before you have the chance to get it in order.
One way to resolve this problem is to arrive at work 15 minutes earlier than you are accustomed to and writing up your to do list for the day. Put down on this list your tasks and list each one in order of importance. Those items that absolutely must get done today should be on top followed by tasks that can be handled over the next few days. Create a third category for longer-range projects and a fourth one for tasks that can be accomplished at any time such as rearranging your file cabinet.
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2. Plan your phone calls. Phone calls can tie you up, squelching your productivity. One way around this is to plan your phone calls, perhaps encouraging co-workers to send an email first before scheduling a call.
Your customers may need to talk with you at any time, therefore be careful about exercising this option. For customer calls that require longer contact, you can schedule these calls as well.
3. Handle problems immediately. Expect to face problems throughout the day including unforeseen events that can mess with your schedule. As tempting as it can be to put some problems to the side, you’ll be more productive if you tackle each issue at once.
Procrastinating can make a problem mushroom. For instance, a customer’s complaint should be handled immediately otherwise you risk the ire that will certainly come your way if you put off resolving the issue. While a happy customer may tell two or three friends that he is satisfied with your business, an unhappy customer will call 10 of his friends, post messages to Twitter
, and make your life miserable.
4. Delegate as much as possible. You’ve been handling a number of tasks that a co-worker or a subordinate can do. Perhaps you haven’t set aside the time to train this individual. Or maybe you’re not sure that you can let go of a particular project. Either way, your stringent oversight has taken its toll on your productivity and may also be stifling your team.
Ben Yoskovitz, writing for the Instigator Blog, recommends six steps for delegating successfully. First, you need to know what you want — tell your team what you want to get done and assume nothing. Second, make your points clear. How, when, where, why a job needs to be done. Third, set expectations. Fourth, show trust. Fifth, allow your team to get the job done their way…not yours. Sixth and last, communicate and follow-up. Yoskowitz stresses that your team should take ownership for what they do, a step that will ensure that the job is done right.
5. Manage your distractions. Phone calls. Email alerts. Inquiring co-workers. Demanding bosses. There are so many ways that you can be interrupted throughout the day. Interruptions cannot always be ignored, but they can be managed. For instance, an email message does not have to be answered immediately, rather it can be followed up when your time is not so pressing. Phone calls can be handled by working through voice mail, but can also be managed by making appointments to handle an issue at a certain time.
You can also manage your distractions by setting aside times in the day to manager certain tasks. For instance, you may spend the first 15 minutes of the day reading emails and responding. You can also spend the early hours of the day checking your voice mail and making follow up calls. If an employee needs to speak with you, handle small problems on the spot, but make appointments to go over sales brochures, financial data and other matters that require more of your time.
Finally, you can become more productive by examining the layout of your work station. Ensure that your computer, your telephone, your office equipment and everything else that you use is within easy reach. Avoid getting bogged down in paperwork, work with pdf forms instead of hard copies where possible and update your to do list daily. Stay on top of everything and keep to a schedule to avoid getting burned out.
What are the ways that you have increased your time exposure to have more productivity? Share with a comment about your ways to have more productivity.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
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“It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole” ~ Mark Montoya