Regardless of whether you are working in your home office, a cubicle setting or, your own personal office every environment has its own set of distractions. These distractions however, do not have to remain distractions nor do they need to effect your productivity in a way where you are struggling to meet deadlines, going on less, and less sleep and end up becoming a ticking time bomb after awhile because, you are immensely stressed out.
Time management seems to be a continuous struggle for millions of people who find themselves saying “If only I could have a couple more hours in the day.” or “If only I could spend more time with my husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, and or, kids, I feel like I never see them.”. It’s a sad reality but, becoming more and more of a problem since we live on our technology devices, and rarely ever take a true break away from them. The following tips and tricks are for those presently struggling with this in hopes that it can relieve some of that unneeded and unnecessary stress from the working professionals life.
1. Know and Love Yourself
I know that if you are still reading you are asking yourself the question; What? Love Myself? Yes, I promise you read that right, and that I put this here for a reason. By loving yourself, you will find yourself better able to focus on work, while limiting the distractions around you, and, being more at peace overall which leads to better interactions with those you interact with. If you know yourself, and love yourself in action then, you are able to show that same care, and compassion to those around you in a way that does not cross your personal boundaries.
2. Say No To Multitasking
Although most corporations expect professionals to pull this quality out of nowhere countless studies show time and time again that multitasking can actually limit productivity. Another good article to read on this subject is the following that provides details of what happens when one consistently attempts to multitask from Psychology Today: The True Cost Of Multitasking. I am not saying that there will never be times when you will need to multitask but, realistically speaking multitasking is more unrealistic and unproductive than it is beneficial.
3. Schedule Out Social Media & General Technology (Including the phone) Time & Don’t Allow It To Consume Your Time
This was a big one for me, and yet I have no idea why because, for as much as I love people, social media is so inundated with drama that I do not even want to be on there half of the time. To help with this process I have actually created separate social media accounts that are for work related purposes. On facebook for example, I only have 15 friends, people that I am close to, that I want to keep up with throughout the day but, it is through that page that I manage all of my clients accounts, and therefore I don’t really check my other (more personal account) and have found this to be a beneficial way of not being so distracted by social media throughout the day. Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, are all distractions that prevent you from concentrating on what you should be doing, and scheduling out time just for social purposes, and not falling off the schedule has been a huge benefit for my own personal productivity therefore, it is something that I couldn’t imagine not adding in to my suggestions for others.
4. Organize Your Work space
Before you leave your work space each evening take out an additional few minutes to clear and clean it up. Things get busy, we are all responsible for numerous things throughout the day but, something that I began doing early on in my career was organizing my work space to keep me efficient, and organized. For Work space organization ideas on the cheap feel free to browse around my pinterest board: Organize Your Office
5. Effectively Manage Your Email Platform and Inbox
Depending on what you do managing incoming emails can be a daunting as well as time consuming task. The most effective way to manage this though is by creating numerous folders. The way that I have set mine up for example is by client, and once the client has been responded to the email that was once in my inbox gets placed in their specified folder, and if by chance I need to hire a web developer to assist me on a project I place those email exchanges in the folder of the client as well keeping everything organized, and as efficient as possible.
6. Break down big tasks to make them more manageable
Productivity and organization are heavily linked. If you have a large, time consuming project in front of you, analyze the project, and look for ways to break it down into smaller tasks with the aim of tackling one aspect at a time. Some find that by breaking down large projects into smaller tasks enables them to effectively keep better track of their progress with a sense of achievement as they tick each accomplishment off of their to do list.
7. Take note of what the people you admire have to say
Are there people that you admire? Use their words of wisdom to stay motivated, and energized. Personally, I am a huge fan of quote walls / areas. If you are looking for examples feel free to “steal” some of my favorites found here: Business Quotes
8. Build A Network Of Reinforcements
Don’t ever underestimate the people in your life that don’t just uplift you but, that keep you motivated. There is power in having people in your life to listen to you, who will speak words of wisdom into you, and yes, even those who will hold, and keep you accountable. We can be so use to going at it alone that we forget that we don’t have to go at it alone, and it’s in those times that it’s important to have people in your life that want the best for you, and that understand you. Know who those people are in your life (Go back to step one, and choose the people that you know who love you as much as you love yourself), get on the phone with them, and say “Hey, so these are my goals, can we set up a weekly or, bi-weekly phone or skype date, and talk about my goals, struggles etc… because, I trust you enough to hold me accountable.” Some of us need that, and that is more than ok.
Time Management is a process, and it is not one that will happen over night but, with the right tools and outlook it will become a quality adjustment that will relieve stress, and bring a larger sense of productivity, and accomplishment steadily over time. Hopefully the tools, and tips above can be beneficial to you.