It’s common to take on more tasks than you can handle. The downside, though, is that you’ll find yourself in an endless loop of piled jobs that take forever to finish.
While it’s not good to take too much on your hands, you can still hack your way towards saving more time and boosting productivity.
That said, here are a few tips to try today.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is famous for imposing unusual rules on his employees. The most popular one is allowing workers to get out of meetings when they see it’s a waste of time.
Elon’s argument for the rule is that excessive meetings are the blight of companies, and they get worse over time. He continues to urge his employees to get out of meetings if they feel like they’re not providing value to the audience.
While the rule might make Elon eccentric, we must agree that there’s some sense in it. Research has shown that ineffective meetings lose professionals four days of work every month.
Plus, now that so many employees are remote it’s become easier than ever to use software to schedule a meeting without considering how big of an impact it has on employee productivity.
In addition, constant meetings become frustrating over time. Imagine you’re in the middle of an urgent task and suddenly receive an email telling you to attend a short staff meeting.
Instead of getting involved in unnecessary meetings that take ages, avoid them. And if you have to attend, ask the organizer to make it as concise as possible by going straight into the matter.
Another way to avoid unnecessary meetings about company updates is to create an employee email newsletter that you can send out regularly to keep your employees up to date.
Because of this, some companies have come up with stringent regulations on using phones. But this has adverse effects on the employee-manager relationship.
You don’t have to wait to get here. You have an obligation to your company and should avoid anything that derails your productivity – even if it means closing your Instagram account.
Now, that will be too extreme. There are less severe options. For instance, you can put your phone away for like four hours and reward yourself with 30 minutes of Tiktok.
Or you can change all your friends on Facebook to acquaintances. This prevents you from seeing all their updates but only the important ones.
Most people fall into the trap of “I’ll just remember.” Of course, it may work in some cases, but you’ll waste more time trying to remember what you’d planned.
Luckily, there is something simple you can do.
Before you sleep, take out a notebook and write everything you want to do the next day. Or even better, write the notes on your phone notes app.
You don’t have to make it a whole novel or something like that. Put down a few points on the exact tasks you’re looking to do and the time each task will take. It won’t take you more than 15 minutes.
Project management tools come in handy to make your planning long-term and precise. Tools like Asana or Trello help you plan the tasks you need to complete with detailed instructions.
Email communication has turned out to be the biggest time-waster for most professionals. Studies have it that they spend 28% of their workweek on email. If you put that into more perspective, it’s about 2.5 hours every day.
This is precious time you can use to do something more important.
Instead of replying to emails as they cascade into your inbox, schedule less important emails for later. Only engage emails that need immediate action.
You can also set time blocks for reading messages. It can be after every two hours or any other time, depending on your schedule and the nature of your job.
If you’re managing a huge team, you don’t have to write a personalized message each time for everyone. Instead, use mass emails in Gmail to communicate to everyone at once without throwing personalization out of the window.
Sometimes you need an extra pair of hands to get things done quickly. If you’re spending too much time on low-level jobs, you can save yourself the stress by hiring a freelancer like a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant takes over mundane tasks so that you can spend more time on sensitive roles.
But this doesn’t mean you should only outsource low-level tasks. Some projects require experts who help you achieve results more quickly and professionally – talk of content writing, graphic design, accounting, marketing, or email finding for cold outreach.
Regardless of the position, the goal is to help you get more done in the shortest time possible while not sacrificing the quality of results.
One more thing – outsourcing is also another task that might eat your precious time. You have to plan, post the job ad on job boards, and vet applicants to get the perfect fit. After you find the right candidate, consider using a contractor management software tool to easily manage their contracts.
Not everyone has the time and capability to do this. In that case, hire an outsourcing firm to do the hard job for you. It assures you of getting the most qualified person with little input from you.
Staying fixed on your desk the whole day doesn’t mean that you’re productive. In reality, your brain runs a marathon, and it soon gets fatigued. You can’t keep working in this state, and if you do, you won’t be efficient enough.
Take some time off and give your brain a break to avoid this. Stop what you’re currently working on for a while and do something else to bring back your creative juices.
For instance, you can take a short stroll out of the office, scroll through Linkedin, or listen to soothing music.
Still, don’t overdo it. The goal is to take you from what you’re doing for a short while. Even if it’s five minutes, that’s enough to get you refreshed for another round of your task.
Staying productive is a battle everyone faces. And there’s nothing unique you have to do. Even with these tips, you have to develop positive habits. You’ll be doing zero work if you have valuable information that doesn’t help you. Starting is easy, but make sure you’re consistent.