If you’re constantly overwhelmed at work and working long hours without achieving your desired results at the end of the day, chances are your time management is not optimal.
But the good news is that it’s easy (enough) to organize your day and get back on track immediately!
Beestalent your international job board, presents below the 26 habits to adopt to organize your day and gain productivity.
If you start late, you may end up rushing or falling behind. Neither is good for you or your work day.
Plan your day by giving yourself a head start to avoid traffic, give yourself time to read the news or grab a coffee before you start.
Set up all the equipment you will need (computer, fax, printer, software) to complete your daily routine.
Organize your day by adding a meditation habit to your morning routine helps you :
- face a new day with calm,
- Prepare you to handle the day’s unexpected events.
- If you are new to meditation, start slowly.
As with any new habit, consistency is more important than intensity.
Simply sitting in a quiet room with your eyes closed for a few minutes and focusing on your breathing can be enough to get you started.
Set daily goals and stick to them
By setting goals on a regular basis, you decide what you want to accomplish in a set time frame. Then you organize your day (or the steps needed) to achieve them.
Organizing your day with clear goals will help you stay motivated, organize yourself according to your resources and build your confidence.
Plan your day the day before
We all have this tendency not to want to “waste” time in planning.
However, planning and organizing your day is a time saver. According to Diane Ballonad Rolland:
“By spending eight unfortunate minutes a day planning, we could save an hour in the day. The idea to remember, simply put, is that the more things you have to do, the more time you need to take to plan!”
If you already know what your day will look like the next day, you will be much more focused and less stressed.
Start your day with the most important task
Completing 57 unimportant tasks is meaningless if you haven’t accomplished your 3 most important tasks.
Instead of trying to do everything, pick three of your most important tasks to complete today.
The most important task is the one you want or need to finish today. If you put it off, you will be busy and run out of time to do it.
Your most important tasks are flexible and can change. You may well organize your day with new important tasks or even decide not to work on them and put them off for another day.
Use the first 90 minutes rule
The human body functions according to cycles called “ultradian rhythms” (biological rhythms shorter than 24 hours). During each of these cycles, there is a peak when the body is most energetic and a trough when the body is tired.
And it is in the morning that you are most active.
So when organizing your day, spend the first 90 minutes on your most important task. To make the most of your energy for the rest of the day, you can use the 90-minute technique: work in 90-minute sprints, then rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Limit your to-do list
In a typical Entrepreneur’s day, there are many demands and things to do. It’s just not possible to respond to all of these daily tasks, especially when you already have your own most important tasks to manage.
Organizing your day for better productivity comes down to making a short list of tasks (1 to 3 things) that you really want to do. Instead, focus on the few tasks that make the most difference – to your business, your career and your life.
Use the Pareto principle
Pareto’s principle is the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of the value of a task comes from 20% of the effort.
Organize your day by identifying the efforts that yield the most results in your business (and in your life!) and focus your energy on those.
Example: You have a large client portfolio but you realize, using the Pareto principle, that 80% of your revenue comes from just five clients.
You could generate more revenue if you focused your time and energy on those five clients, instead of spending all your time managing 25 clients (and being completely overwhelmed in the process).
Do not work on a task more than once
How many times have you opened the same email only to close it and reopen it at another time?
Learn how to handle incoming tasks once and for all and move on.
Once a new message catches your attention, if it’s not on your to-do list for the day, you need to delegate or respond to it, especially if it takes no more than five minutes to respond.
Use the two-minute rule
If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately. Don’t let those small tasks pile up for another time, and don’t add them to the bottom of your list.
Take two minutes and just do it. You may be surprised at how many things you can accomplish in a few minutes, like sending an email or cleaning your desk.
Use the Eisenhower method
“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent is not important, and the important is never urgent”, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Many entrepreneurs panic when their deadlines approach, even for tasks that are not important. For this reason, they sometimes neglect the activities that are actually the key to their success and development.
The goal of the Eisenhower Method is to focus on the tasks that are truly important, rather than just urgent.
Reduce task switching
Most people wear a lot of hats every day. In reality, the problem is not just that you wear many hats, but that you try to wear them all at the same time.
Organize your day by minimizing the switching of tasks to maximize your focus.
Here’s how this translates into practice:
Focusing on one task at a time = 100% of your available productive time
Juggling two tasks at once = 40% of your productive time for each and 20% lost to context switching
Juggling three tasks at once = 20% of your productive time for each and 40% lost to context switching
Write shorter emails
If emails take up a large part of your day, simply limiting yourself to 4 or 5 sentences per email can make a big difference.
First, it will dramatically reduce the time it takes to write or respond to emails.
Second, it will reduce the time it takes to respond to your emails, which means you’ll spend less time reading them.
Never send an email that is longer than five sentences. Take the number of words you think your email should be, cut that number in half and that’s what your word count should be.
Avoid unnecessary meetings
Meetings can be essential for discussing goals and establishing a vision for the future. If left unchecked, they become cumbersome and time-consuming without anything important being decided.
Organizing a productive workday means eliminating all unnecessary meetings. If you have a crucial meeting that requires a lot of time, it’s best to split it into two or more parts.
And avoid scheduling that meeting at 4 p.m. Most employees mentally leave the company after 4 p.m.!
Learn to delegate
Learn to trust your people. When you learn to delegate more, it becomes easier to organize the tasks you can’t delegate.
It’s also a great way to give your employees the opportunity to develop their skills, leadership quality and confidence.
Procrastinate when possible
Think procrastination is holding you back from achieving your goals? According to statistics, 95% of the population procrastinates from time to time.
In fact, it’s better to take a break and come back to work later than to spend many hours trying to work on a task you don’t want to accomplish.
The key is to work productively, that is, to work more efficiently and do qualitative work without spending a lot of time on it.
A more accepted and deliberate approach to procrastination can actually turn what many of us consider a bad habit into a powerful productivity hack.
Don’t kid yourself: to stay productive, you need to alternate between work and rest. Working intensely for long periods of time with few quality breaks can lead to sleep disorders, stress, anxiety and depression.
So when planning your day, remember to think about when and how long to take a break. Don’t be stingy with downtime – having time to relax and breathe is an important part of working at your best.
Measure your productivity
Measuring productivity in the organization of your day gives you an idea of how well you are performing each day.
If you don’t know how efficient you are right now, you won’t know where you need to improve – or even what improvement should look like?
There are different ways to measure your productivity, and these single-factor measures are a good place to start:
- Average task time / total hours used;
- Total hours worked / total hours budgeted;
- Total hours available / active time worked;
- Number of tasks completed / time spent;
- Time spent per project / profit generated.
Don't overload yourself
The work does not have to be monotonous and done in eight hours, that can disturb the you manage stress at work, instead It can be fun and have intermittent productive moments.
Entrepreneurs tend to overload themselves and overestimate what they can actually do.
Get into the habit of organizing your day around two or three important tasks to be done during the day and take time to recharge and relax.
It’s common knowledge that exercise is good for the body, but it’s also good for the brain.
Plan your workday to include exercise. It’s an effective way to:
- Improve your concentration,
- increase your learning potential,
- boost your memory.
Exercise also improves your mood and reduces stress and anxiety for better productivity.
Limit external distractions
Distractions range from external annoyances, such as loud phone conversations in an open workspace, to personal distractions, such as Facebook, texting, personal email, or web surfing.
If you regularly lose focus at work due to one or more of these distractions, you can:
- Put your phone on airplane mode,
- Use a website blocking application,
- Listen to music or wear noise-cancelling headphones,
- Take breaks.
Always have a plan B
You’ve planned your day when something unexpected happens. You didn’t see it coming. Things don’t always go as planned.
So what do you do when it happens to you? Can you go to plan B so you can deal with the emergency?
By preparing for the worst at the beginning, you can take action immediately. What it comes down to is knowing how to adapt when the unexpected happens. Being willing to take alternative paths and find creative solutions.
End your work day on a high note
Ending the workday on a high note gives you a sense of satisfaction and prevents you from bringing home work-related stress.
However, ending the workday on a productive note can vary from person to person. Here are some suggestions:
- Tidy up your workspace.
- Reflect on your day and record your accomplishments.
- Greet your team.
- Leave on a positive note, such as thanking an employee who has gone above and beyond.
- Leave the office on time.
Relax when you get home
When you get home from work, the best thing you can do is relax.
Even if you’re tempted to keep working, you need to take this time to relax and recharge so you can be at your best the next day.
Plus, it allows you to spend quality time with your friends and family.
Do something you love
With all your professional responsibilities, you sometimes forget to stop and enjoy life.
Evenings are a great time to enjoy the things that make you happy. Whether it’s reading, exercising or meeting friends, plan your day by incorporating something you enjoy each day.
This way, you’ll maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Paying attention to what makes you happy will not only improve your mood, but also increase your productivity, motivation and overall health.
Get ready for the next day
Check your agenda to see what is on the agenda. Most importantly, your preparation helps you determine your goals and objectives. It also helps you prioritize your tasks for the next day.
With just a few minutes of planning each day, you can increase the productivity of your day and ensure you get good results.