Get Time on Your Side
One great way to increase productivity is to better manage your time. To begin, get an accurate gauge of the real time it takes to accomplish a variety of routine responsibilities. Use a kitchen timer to measure time spent on your work activities. You’ll likely discover that most unpleasant tasks don’t take as long as you think they will. And more pleasant things tend to drag out a bit longer than you’d expect.
Then, use this information to help schedule future tasks. If checking and returning phone messages takes an hour each day (who knew?), then block off that amount of time for phone calls. Clearing off your desk by filing papers may seem like an unending job, but in reality, it may take only ten minutes. Now it seems more manageable!
Then, become more productive by avoiding interruptions. Did you know that the average office worker is interrupted 73 times every day? Be prepared for these obstacles by setting aside time each day for “open office hours,” and let your colleagues know they can drop by during this time for assistance. Use your lower-energy hours as your open office hours so you don’t waste peak productivity periods. That way, you can devote time when your energy is highest to plow through your absolutely-must-do tasks. Close your door or consider putting up a “do not disturb” sign outside your doorway to let office mates know when you need privacy. Of course, emergencies will pop up occasionally, but by following these guidelines, your productivity will soar.
Same concept applies for a busy Mom with children and responsibilities. You need to carve out productive quiet time for getting your phone calls and emails returned; bills paid; menus planned; and errand schedule routed out to maximize your time, etc. And schedule some personal time to regroup and re-energize as well!
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