Read part 1 here.
Read part 2 here.
In the final part of our series we look at how to create a healthy mental attitude for a busy work life.
It’s important to get the job done, but you don’t want to burn the candle at both ends and end up so stressed that you are no longer productive.
Here are a few ways to get more done each day, leave work on time and go home satisfied you've achieved a huge amount without being frazzled at the end: 1. Set realistic, manageable goals. We all have a ‘bucket list’ of dreams and goals we want to achieve. This is a great strategy for thinking of the big picture, but for day to day life management, it’s easier and more rewarding to set smaller goals. You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you tick the items off your list and track your progression. 2. Set time limits Rather than starting a task and allowing it to take as long as it takes, decide in advance how long you are willing to spend on each activity.
If you’re clear with yourself with what time you want a job completed by, you’ll focus and avoid distraction to make sure it’s done in time.
Emails could take no more than 5 minutes; calls no longer than 10 minutes and meetings no longer than half an hour.
If you don’t set time limits you can find yourself at the end of a day still trying to complete something you started first thing. 3. Take breaks If you arrive at work in the morning and the day stretches out ahead of you as one big block of busy-ness, you can feel overwhelmed.
Planning regular breaks means you’ll work effectively in short sharp bursts of productivity punctuated with slots of doing something that takes your mind off work and clears your head ready for the next round of activity. 4. Move on quickly One person we worked with had a 40 minute time limit for everything he did during a day. Whether it be proposals, costings, meetings or lunches; whatever he was doing, he’d move on to the next task after 40 minutes.
He claimed that after this time he stopped having useful thoughts on each task so he’d move on to re-energise his brain. He also built in a slot during each day to return to any tasks with thoughts that came into his head while he was thinking about other things.
The key to success with getting more done is to maintain energy and focus throughout each day. This is best achieved by making progress so always keep in mind how each task you take is moving you forwards. If at any stage you feel you’re not making progress, your energy and motivation will wane and results will slow. You're at work to get things done and achieve a something, but you don't want to spend all your time there and hours thinking about the office when you'd rather be focusing on something else.