There are times when we have a lot on our plate, be it work, personal chores, or both. And in these situations, most of us panic. Some of us try to meet the challenges head-on but eventually get overwhelmed by unending to-dos.
What if you can get more done in less time?
Sounds impossible but it's not. We are often unaware of our true potential because we generally operate at an underclocked speed. That's why we panic when things get a bit more challenging. But there are ways to overcome this.
Want to know how?
Let's find out.
1. Declutter Your To-Dos
Declutter your to-do list and organize your work. This will give you clarity and help you clearly set the targets for the day. Organizing tasks and working on them at the same time can be exhausting. It takes up all your energy and leaves you with a dwindling focus. Having your work organized helps you accomplish more in less time.
Unorganized tasks also affect your ability to manage time properly. You end up spending more time on some tasks than required and less time on the rest than needed. And this eventually affects the quality of your work.
2. Set Clear Goals
You must have heard people saying that they put in a lot of effort but still the results are unfavorable. Why do you think that happens? Sometimes, we actually do more than what's needed but it doesn't get us anywhere. This happens when we have not set clear goals.
Having clear goals helps you channel all your focus and energy in the right direction. It helps you make the most of the time at hand and resources to get optimal results. With clear goals, your efforts are never misdirected as everything you do is a step forward to your destination.
When you have clear goals, measuring your progress becomes easier. You can now assess your efforts against outcomes and every accomplishment fuels your motivation.
3. Prioritize Tasks
Getting more done doesn't always specify the number of tasks that you chalk off your to-do list. Sometimes, it encompasses the contribution of your work to overall objectives. Assigning priorities to tasks helps maximize that contribution and brings you a step closer to your goals.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix is a great tool that helps you prioritize your work. It comprises 4 quadrants: Do, Decide, Delegate, and Delete.
If your work is urgent and important, you should do it now. If your work is important but not urgent, you should schedule it for later. If your work is urgent but not important, you should delegate it. And if your work is neither urgent nor important, you shouldn't do it.
Assigning priorities to your tasks helps you get more done in less time. You decide to spend your time on tasks of high priority and omit unnecessary workload from your schedule. This maximizes efficiency and contributes significantly to achieving the set milestones.
4. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking is often perceived as a way to get more done in less time. But it's quite the opposite. When you do different things simultaneously you have to shift your focus from one task to another. That's not how the human mind works. You can't flip the switch on your focus and regain it instantly.
Multitasking gives you the illusion that you're growing exponentially. But in reality, when you jump from one task to another there's a window in time in which you don't do anything at all. Even if you achieve more in less time while multitasking, the quality of work is often compromised.
So, focus on what you're doing at the moment and avoid the temptation of doing everything at once.
5. Avoid Distractions
Avoiding distractions is easier said than done. They're everywhere especially if you work remotely. So, it's not possible to completely evade them. But, there are a few things you can do to make yourself less susceptible to them.
It's always that one notification on your phone that gets your attention. The next thing you know, you've spent hours watching cat videos on YouTube. No wonder it's the 2nd most-visited site with more than 1.9 billion users logging in each month.
Moreover, an average user spends around 2 hours and 29 minutes on social media each day. Think about all the time lost that could have been spent productively. So, to avoid distractions, you have to bring discipline into your life.
Things as small as turning your phone on airplane mode or switching it off completely can have a significant impact on your productivity. This is just one example. There are many more.
Distractions are often caused by the small things that we don't bat an eye on. It's one thing that leads to another kind of scenario. So, the key is finding out those things and being less prone to them.
6. Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is actually very useful for people who prefer sequential breaks from work. It's a time management tactic that allows us to work in intervals. You have to create different time slots of 30 minutes each. In this 30-minute window, you have 25 minutes to focus on the task at hand followed by a 5-minute break.
This is one of the most effective ways to stay focused especially when you're working from home. It's a very powerful technique if you get accustomed to it. You work in small bursts of time to complete a task or at least a part of it and then take a short break.
Pomodoro technique makes you less susceptible to distractions. The active time slot is so small that it technically leaves no room for distractions. And then there's a tiny break to minimize the likelihood of burnout or exhaustion.
It's a Wrap
So there you have it. The 6 tips to get more done in less time. The list is small but it should help you get started. The effectiveness of these tricks may vary from one person to another. So, try them out and see which ones work best for you. You won't achieve astounding results overnight but experience steady progress over time.