Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Five Ways to Be More Productive in Less Time

  1. Know what you're working on. Don't let your work time feel aimless. Know what you're doing, and if you find yourself wandering, take a break, or decide what's important that you should be doing. Always have a task and a goal.
  2. Make short to-do lists. Ideally, choose no more than three big things to accomplish today. Make them the most important things you can do, that will have the most impact on your goals. You may want to capture all the other things that you may want to do someday on a separate list. I maintain three lists: All the things I could do today, Three things I will do today, and a "Maybe" list for ideas and things I'm not sure I want to do at all, but haven't decided about yet.
  3. Take breaks. You'll be much more focused and productive if you stay fresh and energized.
  4. Be organized. Don't waste time having to search for things you need to do your job.
  5. Reduce or eliminate interruptions. As much as possible, turn off IMs and email during your work time. Checking email twice a day - mid morning and mid afternoon - is sufficient for most people.