If you are reading this, chances are that your life has become an entangled web of missed deadlines and scope creeps. And while tools like Google Calendar may seem like drivers of better productivity, it is more about your management strategy than the execution that counts the most. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the self-driven kind or a person who can always do with a little push. Motivation is key to a productive day.
So, let’s cut to the chase and take a look at some tips that can tidy up your daily schedule:
1. Create, Segregate, and Prioritize Your Tasks
The power of a simple to-do list can (and should) never be understated. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, still starts his day with a standard list. The trick is to include every possible task that you want to achieve through the day on the list. It does not matter how big or small the list is. You need to be as operationally exhaustive as possible.
The next step is to efficiently group together similar tasks to the point where you only have a few chunks of tasks. Once the agenda for the day is set, prioritize the tasks according to their urgency or importance. One handy method to execute this is through the Eisenhower Matrix.
2. Divide Your Tasks into Mini-tasks
This management mantra comes directly from the Founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, who breaks down all his tasks into a series of 5-minute slots. This enables him to stay on top of his targets throughout a laborious day, enhance his product, and save a ton of time and resources.
Simply digressing to another activity, even for a small amount of time lowers our inhibitions, making us impervious to the nagging thought of failure.
3. Smartly Manage Your Time
Inefficient time management is another major ingredient for chaos. Some immediate and obvious benefits of better time management include smarter task management, higher productivity, lower stress levels, and improved work-life balance.
A few intelligent time management strategies that you can leverage are:
- High-level project planning that improves the visibility of requirements across different assignments.
- Focusing on one task at a time and avoiding the perils of multitasking.
- Using the Pomodoro Technique that cuts down on all possible distractions and keeps you deeply focused on a single task for 25 minutes.
- Managing and reducing the number of distractions that you can receive, such as emails or phone notifications.
4. Leverage Automation for Redundant Tasks
If you look closely, you can easily find parts of your day (or project) that are driven by redundancy. These tasks may need to be handled on a daily, weekly, or monthly frequency. Some of these may include:
- Manually posting content across multiple social media websites.
- Scheduling and executing computer backups.
- Constantly updating company or contact books.
- Aggregating all travel-related information in one place.
- Proofreading documents and filling forms.
- And so on..
With a horde of tools available in the market today for every niche task, automation comes easier than you might think. Not only will automation significantly boost your productivity, but it will also make room for more tasks.
5. Schedule Time for Filing and Reflection
Take 15 to 30 minutes at the end of the day to account for all that you have achieved throughout it. Access the tasks that are pending and the reasons behind the same critically. After that, list out the targets that you aim to reach the following day. This will set the tone for the day even before it starts, and get you in the right frame of mind for it.
The path to a perfectly organized day isn’t rocket science. All it takes is some planning and steadfast execution. If you find yourself short on time even after implementing these tips, consider delegating some of your tasks or errands.
What is the best organizational hack that you use? Share with us in the comment section below.