Everyone wants to increase productivity, whether freelancing, working for a small business, or working for a large enterprise. Of course, wanting to boost productivity and knowing how to do it and how to better track and manage time is not always easy for everyone to do.
Many times, people are unaware of just how much wasted time they have throughout the day. By using time tracking software, it makes it far easier to see and catch these time wasting activities. It also makes it easier to identify the difficult tasks that might benefit from having more employees working on it, or more time allotted to finishing it.
By developing the right habits and adding the right processes to your business, it is possible to boost your productivity so you are not wasting time. The following are some tips many successful and productive people use, and they might help you as well.
Track Your Time
Before you can see where you are wasting time and where you need the most help, you have to track your time. With time tracking software, you will have a better understanding of how much time you are spending on different projects or tasks through the day. This makes it easier to see where you might be wasting some time. It can also illuminate some of the problems with your current scheduling. Tracking your time gives you the information you need to start implementing the following tips and making changes.
Beware of Multitasking
Many people try to multitask, and it might work for some people. They feel that they can get more done in a shorter period. However, many who try to do too many things at once find that they stall out on the various projects and they end up taking longer to finish. If you are tracking your time, you may want to watch to see just how much time it takes when you are trying to multitask compared to doing just a single task at a time. Often, people find that doing just one thing at a time actually helps them to focus and complete the task more efficiently.
First Things First
It is generally a good idea to do the most important tasks as early in the day as possible. When you work on the most important tasks first, you can complete them sooner. You generally have more energy and pep earlier in the day as well, and this can help with completing the task. This also gives you a good feeling internally, and that can make finishing the rest of the tasks through the day much easier. In addition, you will not have to worry about having the specter of a large task looming in the back of your mind.
Beware the To-Do List
Having a list of things to do is always a good idea. However, people often put far too many tasks on their list, thinking that it will be a good motivator. When looking at that long list, even when you are tracking and managing your time properly, it can quickly become overwhelming. Often, it is better to have a shorter list. Mentally, this will seem to be far more manageable and help to motivate you to completing those tasks. Ultimately, having shorter lists can actually help to increase productivity.
Having a clean workspace can help people to increase productivity as well. Having a clean area to work with little to no clutter is always a good idea. While you want to give your workspace some personality, you do not want it to have so many distracting items that you have trouble concentrating on work.
Put the Phone and Other Devices Away
Some of the biggest time wasters today are mobile phones. It can be too tempting to start texting, checking personal email, social networking accounts, and more on the phones, just as can happen with computers. Put the phones away and only take them out when necessary. Doing this simple thing can help to save a substantial amount of time each day.
You can listen to music throughout the day if you do not find it to be too distracting. Podcasts are entertaining, but they also might be too distracting to listen to while working. Often, people end up spending far too much time listening to the conversations in the podcast instead of actually working.
Expect Occasional Setbacks
Even when you use time tracking software and learn to manage your time better, there is always the chance of having a setback. An emergency, the loss of a client, the addition of extra work, and countless other things can reduce your enthusiasm and productivity. It is important not to let these things keep you down though. Take whatever comes your way and learn to incorporate it into your schedule.
Be Ready to Reevaluate
As changes occur in your life and in your business, you need to be ready to adjust your schedule, and you will need to reevaluate how you are spending your time. Making changes is a part of business whether you are a freelancer or running a business with other employees.
Help Your Employees
If you have employees, you will want to be sure to help them when it comes to time tracking and management as well. This helps to keep everyone in the company on the same schedule.
Celebrate the Victories
After you track your time and start using these tips and tricks to improve your productivity, celebrate when you start seeing gains. It means that you are doing things more efficiently, and thatâ€™s certainly worth celebrating. This helps you to keep happy and enthused about doing your work.
In addition, make sure you are able to take some time away from work. Without a bit of time to unwind, keeping up your productivity and quality levels can be very hard. This can be difficult when you are working on your own and trying to make ends meet, but it can really help to reinvigorate you.