Results, results, results. We live in a world where we are focused on results and getting things done fast, without sacrificing quality. So how can we get more done and be more efficient? Here are a few tips to speed up work and keep yourself on task.
Use a Timer for Each Task
Many times we have an idea of how long something should take, yet we fail to get the project done in that amount of time. We get distracted. We check e-mail. We do not hold ourselves accountable to get this task done.
Using a timer is a great way to speed up this process. Set the timer for the amount of time you think the task should take and then work diligently on it. You will then become more aware of focusing yourself to getting the task done before the timer goes off. This will speed up productivity and free up time for other things on your to-do list.
Find the Quietest Time of Day
This is something that not many people don’t leverage. But successful people rise early. We are the most productive when we are the least distracted. Being less distracted means there are no electronic notifications beeping, no people around, and you can sit peacefully and focus.Find a time of day that all of these things are true.
Many business owners use the morning, getting in early, to get essential tasks done at least an hour before business hours when employees start rolling in. Some find their most productive time is at home after they are finished with their dinner and put the kids to bed. Try to find an hour or so each day that you can sit down and solely focus on business activities. Use this time to work on your business instead of in it.
Keep Track of Activities and Plan
Planning is key when it comes to getting things done. Spending ten minutes each morning writing out everything that you are going to do that day will help you stay on task. It also helps to create lists and cross things out, since we get a sense of accomplishment and a willingness to continue from those activities.
You can also keep track of your activities on a spreadsheet or some kind of data dashboard that tells you the results of your tasks and what else you have to do for the day. When you know what is coming up, you will be able to work more efficiently on the task at hand. Sometimes seeing a long list of tasks can be daunting, but it usually serves to speed us up on our current tasks as well.
Group Non-essential Tasks Together
We all have those tasks that we think are not as important as our main projects. Maybe we have to reply to some e-mails or make copies, organize the home office or order supplies. The best way to take care of these tasks is to group them together and have them serve as a ten minute mental break when you are completing them.
Do all of your organizing at one time (instead of here and there), then go right to your e-mail and respond to important messages. Try to group these tasks into 10-15 minute bursts of productivity and then get back to the real work. Spreading these individual tasks throughout the day can disrupt your working rhythm.
Getting more work done, quickly, can be difficult in today’s fast-paced business world. With many of us focused on deadlines and results, it can be daunting to step back and figure out how to be more efficient. By using a timer, a dashboard, finding quiet time during the day, and grouping non-essential tasks, you can get things done more quickly.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Brian Clay is a Utah-based freelance writer focused on web design and content marketing. He has been running his own business for the last five years after graduating from Utah State University. Connect with @brianclay1 on Twitter.
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