If only all of us know how to maximize the hours that we have in a day, we would all be rich--in accomplishments! Being able to produce more output in a day will not only entitle you for a possible promotion (if an office employee) or extra revenue (if working from home or managing your own business). This also gives you an assurance that you made wise use of your time and a sense of pride that you could actually do more and be better every day.
Start with the Tough Ones
Procrastination is your biggest enemy. We tend to push the hard ones out and do the easy or clerical tasks first. When you've reached half of the day, you try picking out the hard tasks and finish nothing by the end of the day. Why not reverse this by getting the hardest and usually the most important job done? This works better because you have more focus and energy at the start of the day.
Get your Focus
This is the hardest and most important component. You may have already done a to-do list and you know exactly what to do to be able to deliver. The problem is no matter how hard you try to come up with ideas or compose your thoughts--the light bulb stays busted. To be able to beat this, do a little bit stretching and perhaps sip a cup of coffee. Get some help by browsing online specifically about the task or consulting your colleagues. Make sure to keep this soul-searching period short and particularly about the task at hand. Directing your mind and your actions ONLY to this task will point you towards getting it done fast.
Keeping your IM and e-mail open, especially if notifications from your blogs and social networking accounts are flooding, will eat up your whole day. After all, it's more fun and exciting to check these out than to continue working on a spreadsheet your boss needs after lunch. While quick peeks during breaks won't hurt, getting used to these momentary amusements will make you want for more. So better to shut them off altogether or device a rewards system for yourself where you get to check ONLY when you have done such amount of work.
This simply means that you have a mental allocation of number of hours to be spent on a definite task. While you're at it and you are tempted to daydream or check out the latest Hollywood buzz, check your time. How many more minutes do you have? Time-boxing gives you a positive pressure as you try to beat the self-imposed deadline. Time-boxing also applies to your quick breaks and chit-chat--keep these short so that you don't lose your momentum.
Know When Your Plate is FullAlways remember, time wasted is like money thrown to trash. Managing and spending your time well not only frees you from stress, it also works as your personal investment. You may not realize it but making wise use of your time also results to a constructive outlook in life as you continue to pursue and encourage yourself to achieve something all the time. Disciplining yourself to not waste time is the key to improving your work and your being as well.
It's true that you want to be as effective as you can be but if you flood yourself with so many jobs, you won't be able to focus and finish a thing. The more tasks you accept, the more people will be bugging you for follow up or feedback and it will be a never-ending cycle. Instead of taking up all these by yourself, why don't you get someone to help you? Perhaps a sibling on vacation can help but there is also a big risk that this may double up the burden since you'll have to check and redo if there are mistakes. Professional assistants are available for a cost but the productivity and relief that they provide is all worth it.
So are you wasting your time at work?