As a mom and home business owner, I often feel like there’s a never-ending to-do list. Getting my work done, taking care of the kiddos, and taking care of the house can be enough to make my head spin. I’m starting to think that staying involved in the kids’ school is a pat-time job.
I can’t create anymore hours in the day and there’s only so many hours that I can work before my brain shuts down. So what steps do you take to increase your productivity?
Just about every one of us finds that we get saddled with tasks everyday both at work and at home. If you don’t create good time management skills, there’s no way you’ll be able to get everything done. Continue reading to discover some easy ways to increase your time management skills and become more productive.
Assess the situation
Take a quick step back and start thinking about your end objective or goal that you want to achieve with each task. This should only take a few minutes to determine and can easily save you triple that much time at least. Is this something important that has to be done and only can be done by you? (e.g., a client meeting).
Is this something important that has to be done but someone else can do? (e.g., household chores)
Is this something that’s not urgent that you’re making a priority? (e.g., non-business emails during work time or personal social media).
Should this task even be done at all?
Once you know what your end goal is, you will be more motivated to stay on task to achieve it. As you complete each task, take a few minutes to assess the next one, before starting on it. If you don’t achieve your goal, determine exactly what was missing and when you can complete it.
What About Your To-Do List?
Speaking of to-do lists. Make one. This gets everything you have to do out of your head and down on paper where you can see it. That way you’re less likely to forget something and more likely to get it done so you can cross it off your list.
Try to schedule routine tasks for the same time each day if possible. I take a look at my social media scheduling each morning and prepare my to-do list for the next day at the end of the day. Tasks like this have become habit and I do them on autopilot since they are always at the same time.
Productivity Ground Rules
Another easy way to stay on track and manage your time better, is by setting office hours and rules. You can do this from your home office or at work. Let other people know that interrupting you is not allowed for any reason, other than an absolute emergency! They will know that if the door is closed, you are not to be disturbed. Get your family’s buy-in so that there are no misunderstandings.
I try to set up my schedule in a way that I can be available for the kids when they come home from school. They know that unless there is an appointment or meeting that can’t be scheduled for some other time, I’m all theirs. This makes it much easier to get things done on those rare occasions that I have t work and can’t play with them.
Start using blocks of time to manage your work. By this we mean don’t allow phone calls or emails to interrupt you continuously. Instead of working with your email account open in a new tab, turn it off. I must admit, I still struggle with this A LOT. Also log out of your social pages and turn off Skype. Then get to work and concentrate on finishing the task at hand. Don’t get into the habit of automatically being available for people. Let them understand that you have other tasks that take priority, but you’ll get to them as soon as you can.
It is so easy to want to check Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and or see the latest awesome pins on Pinterest, etc. to respond to contacts, friends, and fans just because they have sent you a message. Again, schedule a time for when you can get back to them. The only exception is if the conversations are vital to your business or tasks at the office; then, take the necessary time to respond, and only the necessary time.
It is not always possible to get every task done each day. If you fail to get through your to-do list, don’t despair. Be aware, though, that the chances are high that twenty percent of your thoughts, actions, and conversations lead to eighty percent of your productive results.
Assess why you didn’t get your tasks done. Was it because you underestimated how long it would take? Were you constantly interrupted throughout the day? This will allow you to better plan for getting things done more efficiently.
Therefore, it is vital that you become more proficient at managing your time in order to achieve the best, most productive results possible each and every day. This will either increase the viability of your business or will increase your value as an employee at your workplace and will likely get you noticed by your supervisors.
If you are a business owner, saving time and being more productive will allow you to concentrate on activities which will increase your bottom line.
Always know what your end goal is, turn off all unnecessary websites and email programs and get your family on the same page regarding office hours. Then focus on the job at hand and work in blocks of time until your task is completed.