“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” - Paul J. Meyer.
Most of us want to do better in the workplace, prove ourselves worthy and climb the corporate ladder, so to speak. In order to do this, we set professional goals. Whether short-term or long-term, our goals are broken down into smaller tasks, each a tiny rung on the ladder to success.
To complete each of those tasks, we tend to write ourselves a to-do list. Neatly compiled with a checkbox to tick off or a haphazard mental list, these lists are what we rely on to ensure that we get the job done—thereby inching our way towards our goal, one task at a time.
However, checking items off your list can only take you part way to reaching your goals. To be truly productive, we need to focus on doing more of what matters and not just for the sake of checking an item off your to-do list.
Turn your ‘to-do’ list into a schedule.
There’s no need to completely disregard the humble to-do list; after all, it’s an effective way of knowing what still needs to be done. However, we can take it a step further to be more productive.
You can start by allocating specific time slots you have available in the day to complete the tasks on your list. Be realistic about how much time is needed and ensure that you’ve included breaks. By having the structure in place, you’ll be more focused and increase productivity.
We all know that it’s important to prioritize tasks according to the urgency that they need to be completed, but it’s also essential to consider prioritizing these responsibilities according to when you work best doing specific tasks.
If you’re an early bird that feels mentally fresh first thing in the morning, make sure to schedule your more critical tasks then, keeping your more manageable tasks for the afternoon.
Take advantage of technology
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by keeping track of what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed. Another effective way of being more productive is to use the tools available to us, automating simple tasks that generally take time out of your schedule.
Automation also reduces the risk of essential tasks falling through the cracks, reduces task management stress, and frees up your time and attention. Trello and Asana are examples of simple-to-use task management tools, while you can use labels, filters and rules within your inbox to save time and energy when processing your emails.
And with Gifted, you’re able to build an appreciation program in just a few clicks, which enables you to completely automate employee and client gifting to save you hours of time - getting the gift right, every time.
Productivity and effectiveness go hand-in-hand. By building routines and habits, we’re able to cut out the time it would usually have taken to make those decisions in the first place.
“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
– Henry David Thoreau.