Wondering how your superboss manages a huge team, finishes numerous important tasks, successfully strikes billion-dollar deals, and still leaves work at 6.00pm every day? Without looking exhausted or remotely flustered! If you think he is on some magic pills or under a spell, you’re probably wrong. The guy just knows how to manage his time well, focus intensely, and make the most out of his workday. Don’t worry; it isn’t rocket science. Here are a few easy tips on how you can become highly productive and thus attain a healthy work-life balance. Your spouse can thank us later.
1. Plan, plan, plan!
The best way to ensure getting tasks done every day is to know your tasks well. Make a to-do list the previous night or early morning before you start work. You can use your commuting time for this purpose. Nifty task-manager apps like Wunderlist and Any.do will help you make a goals list, set deadlines, get reminders and a lot more.
2. Make use of online platforms
If you are working with a team on a project, there can be many tiny hindrances that might throw your completion schedule out of the window. To make sure this doesn’t happen, use effective collaboration tools such as Slack, Trello, and Basecamp that ensure smooth teamwork and optimum use of time.
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3. Ditch multi-tasking
While it might feel that you are doing many things, you don’t end up doing anything entirely when you multi-task. According to studies, juggling tasks not only makes you feel stressed but also results in lower creativity. So, do one thing at a time, finish it, and then pick the next one up.
4. Avoid distractions
In this world of superfast Internet, there is no dearth of distractions. May it be your ever-buzzing WhatsApp or your super-happening Facebook wall – keep all of it away while working. This will ensure that you don’t end up looking at cute cat videos on YouTube and thus miss an important deadline. Tame those wandering minds by using online tools such as Self-Control and Anti-Social, which block selected websites or even the whole Internet for a stipulated time so that you can focus on the task at hand. If you want total nirvana, put your phone on the Do Not Disturb mode for a few hours every day.
5. Take breaks
While we all want to work as much as we can and get most of the work done soon, we have to realise that we aren’t robots. Everyone needs and deserves a break. In fact, various studies and surveys have proven the importance of taking breaks. Not only do they help rejuvenate you but also boost your creativity and productivity. So, the coffee break you crave at 4.00pm everyday isn’t a bad idea after all.
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6. Manage meetings
New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kruse in his book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management says meetings are time-killers (big time!). He says they start late, have irrelevant people, and the main topic of discussion can easily fizzle out into something entirely unrelated. It is thus best to avoid them. He suggests that if you do hold a meeting, keep it short (conducting standing meetings is the way to go).
7. Ignore emails
Research has proved that successful people check emails only three times in the day. Yes! They do not respond to every beep on their phone and check their inbox a zillion times in the day. You can set three timings – for e.g; 9.00am, 1.00pm and 4.00pm – to check your emails and respond to them. Try this for a week and see how your productivity increases.
8. Keep your workplace clean
Under the pretext for being busy, we end up messing up a lot of things; the first one on the list being our desk. The key to high productivity is uncluttering. Make sure you discard old papers, pens that never work, and sticky notes from 2014 reminding you to buy bread on your way home. Maintain files and folders, manage your stationery, and keep your desk simple and neat. So, the next time you want your stapler, you don’t need to go on a one-hour long search mission. You can have a few items that make you feel happy on your desk – like a small plant or your pet’s photo.
Happy minds = higher productivity.
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9. Respect your body
A little exercise did no harm to anybody. A healthy body is a productive body. Various companies in Singapore have realised the importance of exercising for the human body and have therefore weaved in yoga, Pilates, and other such physical activities during work hours for their employees. Some firms have gone ahead and sourced fitness tracker bands at bulk discounts for their employees. If the couch potato in you thinks this is way too much, hunt the Internet for tiny, just a couple of minutes’ long exercises you can do right at your desk.
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10. Love what you do
Lastly, like we all know, if you love your job, you will be effortlessly productive. So, if your current job profile does not excite you enough, why not consider shifting to another team? If the whole sector makes you yawn, it’s time to pack your bags and move to a happier place. Check out this list of the most financially rewarding careers in 2017.
Keep reading the BankBazaar blog for more insights into how we earn money, and tips to get the most out of our time.
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