We’ve always been told that the key to making your time more productive is through time management. This is certainly true up to a certain extent because time management teaches us to prioritize our tasks and set aside time to finish them. This makes us more disciplined and feels more guided as we finish our tasks.
However, what if there was a way to make ourselves more productive? To make time management even more effective and get more things done? Luckily for us, it definitely exists!
So here are some ways to be able to finish more tasks in less time to get yourself even more productive:
Do only one thing at a time
If you frequently engage in multitasking this may seem so counterintuitive for you, but hang on there are plenty of good reasons to do this!
It’s now past the era where multitasking is glorified as some sort of elite skill. Today we live in an age of getting a single task done as fast and as polished as possible within a certain time. This is after numerous studies through the years have proven that multitasking is indeed more time-consuming and often results in poorer quality of work than if you were to do single tasks by yourself.
Furthermore, multitasking has also been shown to reduce cognitive performance as in some studies, workers remembered what they did less. Thus, multitasking makes our brains less efficient overall and gets fewer things done despite what we think.
When it comes to working on individual tasks, it is also recommended that you:
Make a to-do list
Focus without distractions so turn off your phone and alerts
Take a break from time to time
Speaking of avoiding distractions, getting constant notifications from messaging apps, email, and other alerts can really hinder your productivity. So whenever you’re at work, set your phone to silent to avoid distractions. You can also inform others such as your coworkers about which times of the day you will not be likely to be available for contact should they wish to get in touch with you. In this way, they wouldn’t take it personally if you leave them on sent.
You have to cut off all these temptations and distractions if you want to be able to focus on your work. You see, when we take our attention from what we are doing to switch to another task, we are losing 20-25 minutes just to regain our focus. Therefore, you need to set your time for work only and leave checking your notifications and other distractions at a later time.
Speaking of setting time for tasks, it is also better to set up concrete time limits for ourselves when it comes to finishing our tasks. As Parkinson’s Law states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Meaning so long as you don’t have a concrete deadline, you will keep pushing your tasks back until the very last moment.
In other words, we tend to procrastinate when we know we have lots of time available. For example, if you were given a report due for next week, the chances are that you wouldn’t start doing it until it was the last day. So in this situation try setting a clear deadline for yourself such as finishing it within the day instead of waiting for the deadline.
By setting a clear boundary for ourselves, we are able to finish tasks well ahead of time and avoid habitual procrastination. We are also then able to finish more tasks in less time!
Check the quality of your work
Quality and speed of work may seem inversely proportional wherein when the quality of the job done rises, the speed of completion of work drops and vice versa. However, it doesn’t really have to be that way. In fact, by simply double-checking your work, you are able to ensure both quality and lesser time spent on completing it.
How does it work? Well, there’s a reason why quality control for products exists. Sure, the deadline may be near but you would actually be spending more time down the line correcting mistakes if you send in a faulty product or work. So why not make sure the quality of your work is perfect right from the start?
There are some simple ways you can have quality control over your work such as by checking:
Your spelling and grammar in documents
Bills and invoices
It may not seem like it, but validating and double-checking your work will surely help you save more time in advance. Not only that, but you also avoid being called out for your mistakes and having your reputation be affected by causing trouble for others.
You can add another layer to double-checking by asking your coworker to take a look at your work before you submit or present it. By double-checking and proofreading, you will also be more confident about the quality of your work!
Doublechecking and even proofreading are often enough. Any more than this will be overkill. Triple to quintuple checking your work out of anxiety and overthinking will only end up costing you more time than you save. So if you’ve already gone through it twice, you can be assured that you’ve done as much as you can already.
Perfectionism is great and all, but if it hinders you from submitting on time, then it’s worthless. It’s better to submit something that’s only been roughly polished but on time, than to submit an “absolutely perfect” report three days late.
Remember to balance out the quality of your work with the time needed to complete it.
So what’s the best way to finish more tasks in less time? Well, it’s by delegating your tasks to someone else!
No, we don’t mean it in that way, but rather it’s by delegating your tasks to someone whom you can trust to have the quality of work that you’re looking for whom you can compensate for exactly the amount of work that they do.
We’re talking about Virtual Assistants (VA’s). They are people who are skilled in a variety of jobs and can therefore help you with whatever trouble you’re having with your tasks at work.
Examples of skills they have can include:
Social media management
And so much more!
There are also skills that are typically assigned to traditional employees or secretaries instead of heads of companies doing it by themselves. Skills such as email management, calendar management, and invoicing are critical skills as they can help boost the productivity of an executive and these skills can also be found among VA’s.
Therefore, you need to follow all these tips if you want to increase your productivity. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a regular employee, manager, or even a chief executive. With our fast-paced society, we can’t afford to be late at all. As such, we need all the tools we can get in order to stay as productive as possible!
When we finish more tasks in less time, we not only become more productive, but it also leaves us with more time for ourselves and most of all, we gain more time for our family and friends.