By Katrina Green of Dragonfly Virtual Services
Chances are as a working professional; you’ve probably had this thought on more than one occasion (I know I have). With more distractions and interruptions in the world than ever before, getting through all of your work for the day often seems like a losing battle. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent those busy times. A huge mistake many people make is not spending the time to get organised with their work. It’s understandable to want to put this aside since organising your work isn’t actually getting it done, but I promise you that in the long run, it will save you more time than you think. At the beginning of the day, lay out your to-do list in order of priority so you don’t have to ask yourself throughout the day what you need to do next. It’s much easier to tackle tasks when you can see them all at once in the big picture so you can plan out how to best accomplish them. Trust me – take the time to organise each day! #2 – Limit Email Checks Most of us spend the majority of our day responding to emails as they come in and taking care of the tasks, they bring one-by-one. Doing this everyday causes more and more things on your to-do list to be pushed aside. Before you know it, you’re not making any real progress with your work because you’ve succumbed to the day-to-day tasks that don’t necessarily need to be finished immediately. Limit the number of times you check your email each day. I recommend only checking it three times a day so you can focus on what’s important and not fall into the email trap. #3 – Block Out Calendar Time You don’t have to use your calendar just for meetings. Use it to block out time in your day where you focus on a specific task. That time is totally dedicated to focusing on that one thing, just as if it a meeting you couldn’t miss. If someone asks if you are available at that time, you aren’t as you already have it blocked out in your calendar for something else. This is a great way to manage your time and focus on certain tasks/projects. #4 – Turn Off Notifications Our screens, phones and social media are already huge distractions. It’s no doubt that they take us away from our work and kill our productivity. While it’s already hard to keep yourself from checking social media and other apps, why make it even harder on yourself by having push notifications on? Disable all notifications on your devices so you become the one in charge of when and how you want to see something. #5 – Invest in a Virtual Assistant or Outsourced Operations Manager OK, so maybe I’m a little biased on this one – but I love seeing my clients have more time to focus on what they love! There really is no better way to create more time in your workday than by having someone else to call on when you’re overwhelmed with tasks. Remember, your time is your own and it’s up to you to set these boundaries. Realise that just because an email seems urgent from the person sending it, doesn’t mean that it is urgent for you. When you block out your calendar for tasks, you have to be disciplined enough to stick to it and not give in when someone asks for your time. Much of the ability to create more time for yourself relies on your ability to tell people no, which isn’t easy for some (I know I have been there). Prioritise your own work and responsibilities first and you’ll find it much easier to manage your time!