Before your mind leaps to useful apps, using hermione’s time-turner and cloning yourself to be able to complete all your daily assignments – take a breather, because perhaps that’s precisely what’s been stifling your productivity.
Of course, finding ways to use your time more efficiently and to become better at organizing your schedule do factor in, but there are other, sometimes more essential steps you can take to achieve better results at work.
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1. Find your “off” switch
The foul demon of procrastination should have no business lurking around your business, or at least that has been the attitude of many burnout-struck entrepreneurs worldwide. And although it makes perfect sense to separate your work hours from mindless facebook scrolling and endless lists of excuses to watch yet another owl video, your mind and your body need time to unwind and dissociate from work.
If you find yourself with your mind stuck to your daily to-do lists, you should try to find something that helps you do nothing. Discover what helps you completely shut off your brain from work mode and start enjoying some relaxing time off, even if it’s just for the evening. Your brain will be grateful and help you focus better when the time comes to work.
2. Master time and task tracking
It’s not enough to just keep the limit of your work hours in each day, because that number doesn’t paint an honest picture of how much you actually spend completing useful tasks and how much you waste on pointless errands. When you start setting up clear, realistic and measurable milestones for every hour of your day, you’ll even find yourself shortening your work day but be completing more work.
If it will help, you can use many time-tracking apps that can guide you through the process, while it will eventually become an automated way you work, since it will help you finish more in less time without compromising your work quality.
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3. Let the music be your muse
Science has spoken once again, and this time, it has ample support for the case of listening to music while you work. If you choose the right tunes, it doesn’t affect your mind like a typical form of distraction. On the contrary, it will help your brain focus better and finish tasks with greater efficiency. Most often, that means listening to sounds of nature, instrumentals and classical music.
However, you should look for in-ear headphones that will eliminate any outside noise and won’t allow distractions to mix with your playlist. What’s more, by finding the perfect volume and the ideal melodies that will not cause too much relaxation to slow you down, you will create an optimal source of inspiration for the hardest of your tasks.
4. Delegate and say no
For people who love to be in full control of their projects, it can be a difficult truth to grasp, but letting go of certain aspects of your work can actually help you complete the remaining ones much faster and with better results than when you have to dissipate your energy on multiple levels.
The same goes for accepting every meeting and call that come your way. You simply cannot afford to waste time on chats and simple follow-ups every day, and emails will do just as well for the occasion. Keep your eyes on the prize, and when you team up with your colleagues, you’ll allocate your time much more wisely for the benefit of your projects.
5. Eliminate distractions
Your phone pings you for every facebook notification that pops up, every personal or business email you receive and there’s no such thing as filtering your calls? And what about the chatter in your office, and the noises from the street? All of these and much more tend to wreak havoc on your performance, and it can be quite an endeavor to eliminate or lessen them to an extent.
Do your best to keep those distractions under control by muting your notifications, logging out of your social media profiles, ignoring and filtering calls and focusing on a single task at a time. You’ll not only pile up hours of free time but produce work of better quality as well.
6. Get your daily dose of zzz’s
Because the time we spend not working is the time that will fuel our imagination and productivity down the road. That means that this is not just beauty sleep, but business sleep, if you will, a surefire way to let your mind and your body recuperate from the previous day’s work.
When you get your shut-eye in order, you’ll flush out the excess cortisol from your system, lower your stress-levels, allow your body to repair and recover and let your brain filter through the many problems and puzzles of the day.