For a young, professional woman in today’s time, there is so much more to do, but it seems there is not enough time to do it all! The key to being productive, (also to not pulling your hair out or fainting from exhaustion) is efficiency – managing well your self, time, and resources and maximizing them for the achievement of your set goals, personal or professional. What this means is that of course, goals are the starting point. You must first have a destination in mind before mapping out the road to get there. Your goals or vision per time can change or be modified, and that’s okay. What’s important is having them and keeping them within sight.
Now that that’s done, how do you set about achieving all you plan to do on a given day? How can you manage your time and self better? Here are a few tips that might help:
Get into a routine
Routine is a solid starting point to your day. It sets a good tone for the day, you’ll be more organized and more prepared to face the day if you have list of activities you run through from the moment you wake up. Could be meditation, exercise, then emails, or emails first, exercise, then breakfast; find whatever routine works for you and watch your productivity level spike up t.
Weekly planners and To-do lists are very good ways to keep track of all the things that you need to do, but if not they are not handled carefully, they can become additional sources of stress. Here are a few tips to ensure you make the best out of your lists:
- Use the weekly planner to draw up master lists and break them into smaller chunks in your daily list or calendar. Calendars are great because they help you assign time blocks to tasks, that way you can be realistic about how many tasks you can perform each day and manage your time more efficiently.
- If you have a big goal or task to accomplish, simplify it by doing one or two things every day to contribute to the achievement of the big goal.
- Prioritise your tasks; remember there is a difference between “important” and “urgent”.
- Tackle the monster or least favourite tasks first, preferably, when you still have a fresh head and energy. Thinking about getting to your favourite tasks can be motivation to get them done quicker. Leaving them for last might mean they don’t get done.
- Tasks can come up unexpectedly, but try not to make a habit of interrupting your plans.
- Don’t put yourself under pressure to finish up all the tasks on your list. If something doesn’t get done today, it can be done tomorrow. This is why you should tackle important tasks first.
Commute time is good time
If you are not driving, the time you spend commuting is a good time to squeeze in some tasks. You can make some calls, send emails, schedule appointments, catch up on your reading, and so forth.
TV and the internet are great sources of information and entertainment, but they can slow you down and swallow up your time like nothing else. You’ll plan to look at just the next few posts and before you know it, an hour is gone. Turn off notifications for social media. When planning your day, schedule some down time, when you can go on the internet. If your work is internet-based, then try not to sign in to any personal accounts while you are working.
Apart from your phone’s in-built fitness tracking apps, reminder and task list options, there are hundreds of apps out there designed to make life easier and to help us be more efficient at time management. Using too many of them can be more of a problem than a solution, but here are some that you may find useful.
- To-do List and calendars: Wunderlist, Todoist, Google calendar
- For organization, making and keeping notes: Evernote, Pocket
- Budget and finance management: Mint, Thriv, Easy Home Finance, Moneyfy
- Fitness and exercise: My fitness pal, Nike Training App, Nike running
Ask for help
The strongest and most effective people are not the ones who pile all the tasks in the world on themselves; they are the ones who ask for help, who are not afraid to let other people lift a side of their burden to make their walk lighter. It is important to build a network of people you can trust in your professional and personal life, so that when you need support, you know who to turn to. Do you need to let someone else handle that project? Do the laundry? Take that call? Delegate, so you can make more time for other important things.
Take care of yourself
Hard work is important, but so is self-care. You can only be at your best at work and in life when you have optimum health all round – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Make time to let your hair down and relax, do the things that give you pleasure. Nurture your relationships, hang out with friends and family. Get enough sleep (the average adult needs seven hours’ worth), eat well, and exercise. Healthy eating, sleep, and exercise not only fight stress, they also keep you fit, focused, and mentally alert.
There you have it, Queens; that’s it from us. Do you know of any other apps and tips that can help increase productivity? Share with us!