Best Practice Time Management Techniques To Get Things Done
We have all done it! We procrastinate or find excuses to delay doing our work instead of concentrating on getting things done. The problem with this is that it reduces efficiency and productivity. Learning how to get organized and get things done will help you to work smarter not harder.
This post will cover how to get organized and get things done by using best practice time management techniques. These techniques will help you to do tasks in a more efficient and productive way!
How To Get Organized
If you normally have trouble completing tasks, you need to get into the right mental mindset. Once you learn how to get organized, your productivity will improve. This will result in less stress as well as a sense of accomplishment!
In order to become efficient and get things done you need to:
- Set Goals
- List Tasks
- Organize & Prioritize Lists
- Break Down Tasks
- Tweak Your Routine
- Take Action
- Prepare For Obstacles
- Stay Focused
- Have A Positive Attitude
- Review Often
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of life. So, if you want to succeed you need to plan for it by setting down goals. Setting goals helps you to identify what you want to achieve.
Start by defining your goals for each project. The easiest way to do this is to write them down in a clear and precise manner.
For example, if your goal is to launch your own online business; write this down with as much detail as possible. Describe the product, your market demographics, budget, methods of advertising, time parameters, etc. This will give you an overall idea of what factors are involved.
Defining your goals and setting time parameters will give you a distinct idea of where you are headed. Having a plan with defined SMART goals will help you to focus. When you focus you become more efficient and more motivated to achieve your goals.
Once you set your goals, transform them into concrete, actionable outcomes and tasks. This will keep you from becoming overwhelmed by undefined objectives.
Decide what outcomes you want to achieve and how you will you go about achieving them. Break down large projects into smaller, doable steps. List any tasks that you will need to complete as soon as you identify them.
Writing things down in to-do-lists will help you become better organized. Don’t keep a mental tag on the things that you need to do. Write them down or record them electronically so that you don’t forget them.
Use a to-do-list to help increase your productivity. “To-Do” list apps, note-taking tools, productivity systems, and planners can help you to document your tasks. These tools can help you organize your ideas and record your responsibilities.
Choose a recording system that works for YOU and lets you organize, prioritize and review the things that you have to do. Use a system that is easy for you to use and that works for you.
Make sure that your system allows you to add additional tasks. This will help you to add new tasks that need to be completed before other preexisting tasks that are already on your list.
Listing your tasks either by a manual or an electronic method helps productivity. This is because it frees up your brain so that you can concentrate on solving problems or on creative thinking.
Organize & Prioritize Lists
Always consider the value of each idea, task or project in order to categorize it properly. Make sure these are organized by priority. Prioritizing tasks early on will save you wasting time later trying to work out which tasks are the most important.
Get organized by listing tasks or projects under categories or dates that make sense to you. Don’t crowd your lists with too many different or confusing categories. In order to get things done, list every step, task or action that is involved in completing each project. Then allocate the correct amount of time to each task.
Tasks that don’t require immediate action can be listed in a reference file. These files can then be reviewed weekly, monthly or annually. If you want to action on a task that is way off in the future, put it in your calendar. So that you don’t forget to action a future task, place a trigger against the task to alert you when it’s time to action it.
As you get things done, make sure you check off each task before moving onto the next task. Checking off tasks will show you how much you have accomplished.
It will also alert you to which tasks are outstanding. This system will increase your productivity as long as you check it regularly and keep your lists of things-to-do up to date.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by large complex projects. When you are overwhelmed you can start to become indecisive, frustrated, worried or begin to doubt your abilities. This can result in you becoming stressed or missing your deadlines.
The best way to deal with large multi-part projects is to divide them into small doable tasks. Do this by writing down a plan and breaking down complex projects into doable tasks.
Plot out what is involved in completing each task. Include: who you will consult with, what resources you require, what research you will need to do, and how long each task should take. Each task should then be prioritized in order of importance.
Tweak Your Routine
If you have made up a list of tasks and have checked it regularly, but still find that it’s not resulting in increased productivity, then you may need to tweak it. Sometimes all you need to do to work smarter is to change your routine so that you can become more efficient and work more effectively.
Decide what you need to add, reduce, or change in your day, week, month or year in order to help you to achieve your goal. For example, you may need to add a larger block of time to your weekly schedule so that you can network with clients, customers or peers.
You may need to set aside additional time for research, for staff training, or for weekly meetings. Or maybe you have underestimated the complexity of a project and haven’t allocated each component enough time or resources.
Tweak your to-do-lists so that you can work efficiently to meet your deadlines. Ensure that you do the things that you plan to do in the time that you allocate for them. By doing this, you will find that you can easily complete each task.
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed when you have a lot on your plate. The best way to overcome this is to take action on a daily basis to execute your plans. Implement best practice time management techniques on a daily basis and your stress levels will subside.
Start small and choose to only complete one large project per day. Break large projects down into doable tasks. Determine the start and finishing time for each task, then action each task at that given time.
If you stick to your schedule and do what you have planned to do, then you will start to tick off the tasks on your list. Follow your planned schedule and you will progress towards your goals. This will give you the confidence to know that your goals are achievable.
Once you can see that you are making progress and are ticking off your tasks, you will know that you will reach your goals within the allocated time-frame. Taking action reduces the fear of the unknown and results in progress. Making progress then leads to an increase in confidence!
Prepare For Obstacles
It doesn’t matter how well you plan each day, sometimes other things will pop up that you had not anticipated. These may be short-term projects with short deadlines that overlap with other projects that you are already responsible for.
The best way to tackle these is to get them completed as soon as possible. However, if their deadlines are going to coincide with the deadlines of other projects at are already on your list, then don’t procrastinate as to how you will complete your tasks.
Instead, take action and discuss your dilemma with your boss. Ask your boss if someone else can complete these projects. If this is not possible, then ask that the deadlines for the projects be changed.
However, if the nature of your job is that you regularly get additional projects at a monument’s notice, you would be best off to plan for these ahead of time by adding some extra time or flexibility to your to-do-lists.
Sometimes things go wrong but you shouldn’t let obstacles stop you. Always ask for help if you need it, or if you are unsure of what to do. Otherwise, research your problem to find suitable solutions. If you have staff, don’t be afraid to delegate mundane tasks to free yourself up for the more crucial jobs.
Keep a positive mindset and persevere until you get through the issue. Once you complete your task, check it off your to-do-list and then move on to the next task.
Some tasks are not as interesting as other tasks. When this is the case, it is easy to let productivity fall by wasting time on unnecessary things. Boring tasks may result in you being easily side-tracked by other people who are clamoring for your attention.
The best way to overcome this situation is to stay focused. Always focus on what you should be doing instead of being sidetracked. This way you will be able to complete the task and get things done in the time allocated. Then if you have time left over, you can help others.
Sometimes it’s difficult to keep going especially when the task at hand is boring or daunting. When this happens, take a quick break. Get up and walk away from your task. Take a short walk or grab something to drink, such as coffee or water.
Taking a short break will refresh your mind and help you to refocus on the tasks at hand. However, don’t use your breaks to get bogged down in your social media feed or other lengthy distractions that will eat into your work time.
Certain chores can make you drag your heels, and make you falter at your task. Whenever you complete a daunting task or accomplish something that you have been avoiding, you most likely will feel a sense of satisfaction.
So, in order to stay motivated, each time you finish a difficult task, congratulate yourself on the job that you have completed. Doing this will help you to feel good about yourself, and make you feel more energetic to face the next task and keep on going.
Have A Positive Attitude
If you are having a bad day, your emotions may prevent you from tackling your tasks. Emotions such as fear, frustration, intimidation, resentfulness, anger, and sadness can also affect your attitude towards yourself, your work and your health.
It is best to avoid situations that trigger negative emotions. For example, if you get upset with yourself when you make a mistake, make sure to allow time in your schedule to double check things before you submit them. This way you will be able to pick up any mistakes and have time to correct them.
Whenever you are overcome with negative emotions, take a few deep breaths and focus on calming yourself. Count backward from ten to zero before you do or say anything that you may regret later on.
After a taxing day at work, you can further release your pent-up emotions through physical exercise. Running, jumping, rowing, and punching are all good exercises to release negative emotions.
Another way to release your emotions is by submerging yourself in a hobby that you enjoy. Your creative juices will turn your negative emotions into positive action.
But the best way to defeat negative emotions is to gather your strength and change your thoughts and attitude so that you turn negatives into positives.
Changing your attitude towards how things affect you, and therefore your emotions is within your power. Whilst you may not be able to change a difficult situation, you always have the power to determine how you react to it.
You can choose to be frustrated, sad, angry, etc. or you can choose to take control of your emotions and get on with your work!
Knowing how to get organized will increase your efficiency and productivity. Always set aside some time to review your to-do-lists. Choose a time that suits your schedule such as at the beginning of each day or at the end of each week .
Doing this will let you see the overall picture. This will help you to appraise the projects that you are working on as well as your long-term projects. You will then be able to make any necessary adjustments to stay on track.
Reviewing often will also alert you if there are other pressing upcoming tasks. This will help you plan your time and resource allocation more effectively.
Your to-do-lists should also tell you how much time each task will take. They will alert you to any blocks of free time available that can be reallocated to increase productivity.
Set up your lists so that each task is in priority order. This will enable you to quickly see the correct order that each task needs to be completed.
One of the most common reason that people fail at anything is that they give up too early. Don’t lose your way because just because you have lost patience! If you want to reach the light at the end of the tunnel and improve your workflow, then you need to persevere.
To-do-lists are a great tool on how to get organized,. But they only work if they are continually updated on a daily basis. You will also need to check and review them often. This will enable you to tweak your lists to make them more efficient. Tweaking your lists will help you to work smarter not harder and become more productive.
Subdivide your lists into categories, or list them by date. Add details such as what resources you will need for each job, or add a few points on what you will include in the emails that you need to send.
If you don’t use to-do-lists your mind will constantly be side-tracked. You will end up wasting time trying to remember trivial unrelated items. But once listing tasks become a habit, you will find that your mind is freed up. You will then be able to think constructively.
Reward yourself by basking in your own glory whenever you complete a difficult task. This will make you feel good about the work that you have achieved. It will increase your confidence so that you can continue to tackle your tasks with a positive attitude.
Regularly reward yourself on your big achievements. This way the hard work that you put into being organized will seem to be more worthwhile. This will then make it much easier for you to focus and feel confident about tackling other upcoming complex projects.
The above ways on how to get organized and get things done are relatively easy steps. You will always benefit in the long run if you have best practice time management techniques in place. This is because they enable you to work smarter not harder.
Organize your tasks into to-do-lists. Regularly update your lists. This will help you become more organized, efficient and increase your productivity. You will never again have to stress about the priority of tasks, what resources you will require, or how long each task will take.
When you use best practice time management techniques, you will always remember important dates. And never be late for meetings, accidentally overlook projects or miss deadlines.
When you are organized you will feel more relaxed, confident and happier. And that’s a good thing!!
I hope this article has shown you how to get organized and get things done.
What techniques do you use to increase productivity?
You can leave a comment at the end of this article.