Get More Work Done by Finishing Early
It sounds like the biggest oxymoron of them all: get more work done by finishing early.
Something just doesn’t compute - particularly if you’re in a position of authority where you need to set an example.
In reality, and as many leaders often find, by working every hour God sends, you only achieve one thing: exhaustion. You don’t get more done, and you certainly don’t feel any better for it.
So, let’s assume you can finish early each day. How do you ensure the time you spend at the office is ultimately productive?
Find and Use the Best Time Management Technology
How do you get a team to achieve more by doing less? You give them the best tools to do so - but don’t forget about yourself.
As the head honcho, you also need great technology to fuel your working day; and if you can find and use the best apps to make you productive, you’ll reach the end of your to-do list far quicker.
Spend some time looking into time management software (such apps aren’t always solely designed for tracking billable hours) and to-do list apps that sync across your various devices. They’ll take a bit of learning and embedding within your daily routine, but once there, they’ll make the world of difference.
Take Plenty of Micro Breaks
So, not only am I telling you to finish earlier, I’m also suggesting you take more breaks throughout the day.
Well, it’s simple; the more micro breaks you take, the quicker you’ll be able to recharge your mind. For instance, that big report you’re writing is fast turning into a massive slog; but if you simply stand up, go for a brief walk around the block, and return to your laptop, you’ll regain the clarity that had previously vacated your brain.
Small pockets of time devoted to yourself will help you refocus and maintain a much higher level of productivity - I promise.
Don’t Add Tiny Tasks to your To-do List
I used to finish the day well beyond my allotted time simply because of the size of my to-do list. It was huge, and that was for one very daft reason. It featured far too many tasks that didn’t need to be on there.
This is where the two-minute rule comes in. If something can be done now, super fast - do it! Don’t add it to the to-do list.
Your to-do list should be reserved for the most important tasks - the big stuff that needs your full attention and a good few hours to complete. After all, the more tiny tasks you add, the longer it’ll take to get through them; and because they’re assumed to be easier, you’ll inevitably do them first, leaving the rest of the day for the big items.
That isn’t smart, by anyone’s standards.
Try to Avoid Multitasking
There’s nothing wrong with moving between projects throughout the day. As a leader, that’s pretty much par for the course.
However, if you spend every day multitasking through your to-do list, not only will you fail to finish on time, you’ll also fail to give adequate time and consideration to each project.
Instead, group similar tasks together. Make Tuesday a ‘Project A’ day, while Wednesday can be reserved for the staff reviews.
The thinner you spread yourself, the less productive you’ll be.
I’m kidding no one - it’ll take time to embed the principles above, but the more you work at them, the quicker and more efficiently you’ll get things done. And that means you’ll get to leave earlier, satisfied that you’ve done a solid day’s work!