Have you ever felt like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all of your work done? Most likely because there isn’t. It’s no secret that we’re busy these days, which makes it even more important to focus on those things that matter most during those hours we do have. So here are some tips and tricks (no pun intended) on how to get more done in less time:
Think about what tasks absolutely cannot be put off until tomorrow and tackle them first thing in the morning (or better yet, the night before).
2. Time block
Set aside chunks of time for specific tasks and stick to them. This means no email, social media, or other web surfing during that period. You can use free tools like RescueTime (https://www.rescuetime.com/), StayFocused (https://chrome.google.com/) and ManicTime (https://www.manictime.com/) to track your online habits and find out how much time you waste each day.
3. Pull an all-nighter once in a while
If you’ve got an upcoming deadline, try pulling an all-nighter to get it done. Also known as polyphasic sleeping (which is exactly what it sounds like), this allows the most efficient use of your time and will make you more productive overall. However, while possible for some people, this isn’t recommended if your work requires lots of energy and focus since sacrificing sleep for extended periods can lead to reduced performance and poor health.
4. Schedule distractions
At the beginning of every day or week, schedule a specific time that’s blocked off for checking messages, Twitter, or Facebook (or whatever else might be distracting you). Allot 15 minutes for each of these activities and try not to exceed the time block.
5. Take breaks
Working too long without taking a break can lead to stress, fatigue, and poor concentration. Instead, try taking short walks or doing stretches. And don’t forget about the power nap; you’ll feel refreshed in no time (15 minutes is ideal).
6. Put your phone away at night
Switching off from work after 6-8pm can make all the difference in how much sleep you get; not getting enough sleep can hamper concentration levels, mood, and physical well-being during working hours.
7. Use the magical ‘2-minute rule’ to get your tasks done faster
If you have a task that takes less than two minutes to complete, do it right away! It’s one of Tim Ferriss’ famous productivity tips from The 4-Hour Workweek (https://amzn.to/33tSx7h). When struggling to decide what to work on next (and there will always be distractions like these when you’re super busy), use the 2-minute rule: if it takes less than two minutes, just do it; if not, save it for later. It’s simple but brilliant advice that will help you focus and prioritize better in all aspects of your life (not just work).
8. Use the Pomodoro technique to enhance productivity
The Pomodoro technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo back in the ’80s when he was a university student. You can use this quick guide: divide your tasks into 25-minute chunks broken up by 5-minute breaks, and take longer breaks (15+ minutes) after four cycles or after completing a big task. The idea is to keep you focused for the entire 25-minute period by avoiding distractions like email alerts. (https://www.themuse.com/)
Now go on, stop wasting time and get things done!