What Are Your Priorities? How Small Wins Skyrocket Productivity
Don’t get discouraged by an endless list of things to do, Jobspin has researched widely used strategies to help you get more organized and achieve your goals one step at a time! Title image: stock photo.
Can’t keep up with your To-do List? Want to feel more confident and in control at work? Then it’s time to seriously consider what tasks are most important to helping you achieve your goals. Learn how to develop clarity with this actionable advice and ensure greater success at work.
So Little Time, So Much To Do
The ability to manage time effectively is considered highly attractive to recruiters, or perhaps improving your performance at work will help persuade your manager to give you a raise. But as life gets busier, trying to keep up with it all can be difficult. If you are overloaded with tasks, you may feel confused and frustrated. Well, there is hope yet to turn this negative cycle around!
The easiest and most manageable way to accomplish your goals is by taking on two or three important tasks at a time. Deciding what tasks are essential helps you gain focus and increases your overall productivity. But where to start?
Small Wins Create The Big Picture
Big goals may seem overwhelming at first, but once broken down into small tasks, those dreams become much more attainable. Small wins accumulate over time argues writer and productivity coach Dan Silvestre. However, the biggest challenge may be deciding what deserves your attention first. Not all tasks are equally important, prioritizing helps to determine what needs to be done and when to do it.
Consider what you ultimately want to achieve. Do you want to grow your network? Increase sales? Or engage with customers on an authentic level? Once you have determined your goals, it will be easier to decide what to focus on.
Be sure to define specific and measurable goals with a set date to complete them. Don’t forget to write your goals down and why they are important to you, this will help you to remember why you started and stay in alignment with your objectives.
Invest Your Time Wisely
It is tempting to choose tasks that can be completed quickly and easily. While you may get a lot done in a short period, it is vital to question how much impact those tasks have in the long run. Each completed task is a small win, but some tasks give back higher returns than others. Consider using the Eisenhower Matrix, whereby tasks are sorted by level of importance and urgency. This strategy can effectively leverage your success when managing tasks.
First, recognize what tasks are most important and establish how urgent they are. Then, separate tasks based on whether something needs your immediate attention or if it can wait. Set aside the appropriate length of time to complete prioritised tasks and schedule not-so-urgent tasks for later.
Unnecessary tasks cost you time, don’t be afraid to cross something off the list. If a task doesn’t align with your goals or it has little to zero impact, re-evaluate how much of your attention it needs. Perhaps that task can be delegated, outsourced or written off so that you can free up your time and energy to focus on something more meaningful.
A Schedule For Success
People who are proactive about how they spend their time are more likely to achieve their goals. It is ideal to complete the most important tasks done as soon as possible, you will have time afterwards to work on other tasks. Plan your day the evening before and set aside an hour to work on your most meaningful goal in the morning so it won’t be in the back of your mind all day.
Use the time-blocking method, advocated by Cal Newport, author of Deep Work. Define your schedule in advance – this allows you to manage your day easily by focusing on a single priority assigned to a specific block time. Instead of following an open-ended to-do list, think about what time of the day you are most productive and then schedule an hour or two to focus on your major tasks.
If you struggle to focus for longer periods, try the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work without interruption, then take a short five-minute break. Repeat this four times and then give yourself a longer break for 15 to 30 minutes. Following this method will instill a sense of urgency and remind you to take a break so you won’t feel burnt out after work.
Final tip! Make the most of your time on Friday afternoons when your energy is low to plan for next week – this is recommended by Laura Vanderkam, author of several books on productivity such as What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and 168 Hours. Spend a few minutes to write down the tasks you plan to work on. Try to assign time for these tasks at the start of the week so you will be available to take on new projects.
With these strategies to manage your time more effectively, you’re ready to perform better at work! Take charge of your career path and discover new opportunities waiting for you at Jobspin.cz. Search for the latest multilingual jobs in Prague and Brno or attend one of the upcoming job fairs to get noticed by top companies in the Czech Republic.