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10 ways you can save time and be more productive
Everyone is busy. Right? Well, not really but most people consider they're busy enough to have an excuse for not doing certain tasks or not achieving their goals as they should.
Personally, I'm a very busy guy. I always have something to do. Work, freelancing, being a father and house chores. My schedule is basically packed week after week.
But, what if I can actually do more? How can I manage my time in such a way that it releases a few windows of extra time?
Here are 10 ways you can save time and be more productive in your endeavors:
1. Have a daily schedule and check it every morning
I use Google calendar synced in with Google Keep to have a regular record of all my responsibilities and tasks, both work-related and personal stuff.
Every morning when having my morning tea I usually check my daily schedule and make adjustments if need be.
This is the time when I also include smaller task and to-dos that weren't too important to be added the first time I made a list.
2. Optimize your tasks
A good way to optimize your tasks will be to write them down at the end of the day, everything you did, write it down.
It takes time, I know, but this is the only way to figure out where you had spent a lot of time and on what tasks you can improve your productivity.
You can discover a lot of small-time savers, like having synced in bookmarks for your browser.
3. Include the buffer periods in your schedule
Figure out how much time it takes you to implement a certain task and add 10-20% as a buffer period. We all know we don't work 100% of the time we plan. You will get interceptions of all kind, plan for them and include them in your schedule.
Otherwise, you'll discover that you are unable to complete everything you planned for.
4. Focus on results
Try seeing the big picture and focus on results for every daily activity you have. You need to learn to get something out of every little thing you do. If you don't have a clear result, maybe you should eliminate that specific activity from your daily schedule.
5. Eliminate distractions
Have any distractions you can eliminate? Do it! Close your phone, close the door, shut down the TV, put the radio on mute, anything that may distract your should be eliminated.
This way you are making the best out of your time and at the end of everything you'll have more time left because of this.
All of this requires a high level of discipline. Learn to reach that level!
6. Optimize your to-do list
Name your folder and files and arrange them based on the date. Have bullet points and use software that helps you keep track of your to-dos. Time tracking apps and task management apps can also help, a lot! In fact, I highly recommend using them.
You need to have full control over your workflow, and you need to learn you need help, you can't and won't keep track of everything in your head.
7. Figure out what is important
You need to prioritize and figure out what isn't very important. Delegate tasks that aren't a priority or can be done later.
One of the biggest and most important things you need to learn on this subject is the word "no". Learn to say no once in a while and drop activities that aren't important to you.
The word "no" can be used as an answer when someone asks you to do stuff. If it isn't your responsibility or you simply can't handle it, say no! It will save you a lot of trouble.
8. Combine tasks
Learn to combine or put related task closer together.
Need to check your email and respond to your emails? Do it once a day if you can. Do you have multiple calls you need to implement? Get them out of your way by doing them one after the other.
9. Don't wait for the deadline
Took me a while to learn this one but it might be the most important point on this list! Learn to finish your work before a deadline. This way you'll have extra time for eventual adjustments and you won't be pressured by the stress of finishing it.
10. Stay motivated and positive
Learn what keeps you motivated. I've learned that completing any kind of small tasks keeps me motivated and get me to move to the next one and so on.
So my advice will be to break your project into multiple smaller task and do them one by one. Once you start completing a few, you'll feel better about yourself; this usually gives you positivity and more motivation to finish more tasks.