Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. – Paul the Apostle (Ephesians 5: 15 – 16)
Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up in the morning with plans in your head to conquer your day, picking up your phone and casually clicking on the new email notification and then your social media feeds only to realize few hours later that it’s noon and you haven’t even conquered rising from bed?
You will agree with me that it is getting more difficult to cut out distractions and focus on the things that matter most. Planning, Scheduling, Prioritizing and Executing requires more mental toughness than before. These are acts that we all must master to be able to rise above the noise and clutter, in order to come into focus and be productive.
Below are a few tips to maximize time and productivity, whether at work, school or home;
1. Create a daily plan
Plan your day before it starts – the night before or early in the morning. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. Have another list where you write down other tasks that might pop up, weigh their priority and see if it replaces anything else on your list or if it can be pushed off till the next day.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
I believe strongly that multitasking isn’t helpful. Close multiple tabs and applications that might distract you – Distractions can slow you down drastically and have you focusing on the right thing at the wrong time. Add time schedules to tasks on your ‘to do’ list. Being clear on when you need to finish tasks prevents your work from dragging on.
Realize that you can’t do everything by yourself. Ask for help. Find out which tasks you can outsource to someone who is skilled in that area.
4. Be more deliberate
You will constantly be bombarded by articles and emails and notifications. Decide on which ones are important, unsubscribe or turn off notifications to the ones you consider irrelevant or less important.