Even worse, do you end up with loads to do, but end up procrastinating over other pointless things like Facebook or other timewasting crap?
Stop trying to do everything all at once. Stop multitasking and instead pick 3-4 things that are incredibly important to you each day and say NO to everything else. Don’t worry, the world won’t end if you don’t do everything all at once.
Here are 4 important things to do each day:
- Take care of yourself – exercise, nutrition, sleep.
- Take care of your relationships – quality time with friends and family.
- Be effective at work – more about this later.
- Enjoy yourself / have fun – do what you enjoy, listen to music, read a book, fly a kite or be creative.
And for one full day week (or more often if you can), detach yourself from online, emails, work, Facebook:
- Spend quality time with your family or friends.
- Really live in the moment, take some time out, relax and have fun.
- Enjoy your time with those you’re close to, or spend some time on your own.
- Do something you’ll remember, forever.
Being Effective at Work
In my line of work, it’s easy to be tied to your email inbox, to being ‘the busy one’ at work, and wanting everyone to know how busy we are. But in truth, nobody really cares. For the majority of other people, they’re too busy as well… so they don’t care if you’re busy too.
There are also levels of busy-ness and perceived levels of busy-ness. Some people have different thresholds as to how busy is busy. Some people have systems in place so that they don’t get stressed with work from numerous work flows building and building. Some people are just laid back and feel in control, calm and relaxed. Whilst others get stressed over little things, and feel their world slipping through their fingers the moment an extra piece of work lands on their desk.
What matters: You are doing great work and getting the things done you said you’d get done, when you said you’d get them done.
- I use a Most Important Tasks list each day, plus an extended To Do list on the bottom.
My Most Important Tasks lists includes 3 things I want to do that day.
Then the remainder To Do list includes other regular things like Do Emails, Bookings, Travel etc.
I create a new MIT and To Do list each day, crossing off what I’ve done (in red pen) and updating it as I go.
- I also have a category system on my emails – I come in in the morning and I categorise my emails into around 7-9 regular categories (which are relevant to my job).
- Printing / Recruitment
- Other / Runners / Work Experience
- Extra Payments
Then I work through each category based on time priority, and use it inline with my MIT and To Do list to get my work done.
- And if you really want to focus on one thing at a time, you can use the Pomodoro Technique.
Where you work (and focus on one thing) for 25 mins, then take a 5 min break, and repeat the 25 min: 5 min pattern 4 times, before taking a 20 minute break. See more about it and the apps you can get to help you do it, here. The good thing about it is it reminds you to get up and walk about for screen breaks / reminds you to eat.
4. Stop nursing your inbox – you don’t need to jump on every email that comes in and reply to it straight away. Once I’ve dealt with my emails in the morning and moved onto do one of my Most Important Tasks, I close my new emails down with the use of categories.
I’ve sent myself an email with the subject ***new emails to hide*** and sorted my Outlook inbox by Category – therefore any new email that comes in isn’t categorised.
And since I’ve closed down the category of ‘none’ I only see the emails if I check them (same goes for any other category I don’t want to see). I maybe need to do a whole other post on how I work this!! 😉 Crux of it is – don’t nurse your emails!
And one other thing – if you’re off work – be off work. Don’t check your work emails!! They can wait til you come back – nothing is more important than your time off / time out.
Other links on being productive include: