How To Get More Done By LOCKing In Your Time
One of the keys to any person or company growing is the ability to get more done. Consultants like me get paid big bucks to come in and show companies and their teams how to get more done and be more efficient. Well, here are a few easy-to-implement ideas (free with no consulting fees!) that can help move you towards efficiency in the form of LOCKing down your time.
Any efficiency conversation has to start here. In our connected world that we live in, I am amazed at how much some people actually get done. The only problem is that the tasks are not always tied to the goal. They are just tasks. People are so busy being busy that they miss the importance of certain items that they should focus on. Limit your distractions. Have “phone free” time or “social media free” blocks on your calendar. Multitasking is really just jumping back and forth between tasks and can be extremely inefficient. Yes, you can get multiple things done in a day, but simultaneous task management is not the most efficient method.
Organize your day
A calendar if used properly, is the centerpiece of any efficiency effort. You might say, “but I like my todo list!” That’s great! Use that with a calendar to schedule and creates deadlines for those tasks. Write your to do list first, decide a duration for each task, then actually put time in the calendar to do those things. Example: From 8-8:30 answer emails from the night before. From 8:30-9:00 create reports for 10:00 meeting. From 9:00-9:30 review reports for presentation. From 9:30-10:00 Slack time in case something goes wrong. If nothing goes wrong, move on to shelved tasks list. Just by forcing yourself to write it all down on a time frame, you will get more done. You remove the anxiety over what item to do and the wasted thought time.
Create focus points
Have you ever had that moment where you said “Now where was I?” Along the lines of limiting multi-tasking, a great method I have seen used is to have a reminder of what you are supposed to be working on. An example might be a sticky note with the task at hand written in big letters that is stuck to your computer monitor. This way if you get sidetracked, it takes much less time to remember where you were. To-do lists are also good, but having multiple tasks in your field of vision takes away from the focus effort. Write one on a note away from the others as you work on it. You also get the satisfaction of wadding it up and throwing it away as it is done!
Keep track time
I can’t tell you how many times I have sat at my computer and started thinking about another task or daydreaming about my vacation coming up. If not held in check, this can make time fly by as I get caught up on the interwebs. And when I finally realize how much the clock just moved, I am in a panic because I didn’t get as much done as I should have. To limit this, keep track of time. My favorite method for this is to use technology. My computer will announce the hour every hour. It functions like a wake up call. That way, worst case scenario is that I lose an hour. And, because I caught myself, I will really focus for the next hour.
LOCKing down your time will allow you to be much more efficient. It will create opportunities for growth, and it will allow you to separate your work life from your relaxing life that you deserve.
So get out your cuckoo clocks and your sticky pads, get rid of your time suckers, and get to work!