Dear 25 year old me,
Time becomes a rare commodity in your life. Today, it’s your most valuable asset, so instead of the common fantasy of money growing on trees, it’s really those lush, leafy green, time producing trees that hold the best fruit.
The sooner you discover how to ‘create’ more time, the sooner you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labour.
There are plenty of efficiencies that you try out along the way to help with your time management. Some worked well while others not so.
I believe there’s one key concept to understand and the rest become logical steps that ripple from it:
Get rid of your clutter.
It’s a simple task, and one that takes discipline to maintain, but once mastered you’ll seriously wonder how you survived any other way.
Reducing the clutter, physically and virtually, removes the obstacles and provides clarity. This is the first step to increasing your productivity.
Start with your workspace.
Is everything tidy, filed, neat and clean? Do you only have what you require for a particular task available in view? If not, find a home for everything else. When you finish the task at hand, file anything that you no longer require for the next task and start afresh.
With the paperwork for your next project that usually sits idley to the left of your desk filed away and out of sight, you’re removing the distraction and you can focus solely on finishing what you’re working on.
Perhaps you might say to yourself that you can multitask and you’ll be onto the next task in no time, but you’re not doing yourself any favours.
Let’s be honest, with the pending tasks in sight you’re thinking about them while working on something else. What a waste of brain power, kiddo.
Get rid of the unnecessary crap and trust me, you’re going to zoom through things more quickly.
Flick your DND lights on.
Distractions can come from anywhere so try and stop them from coming near you when you need to be productive.
A distraction can chew away, say, 2 minutes by the time you’re back on track with your task. How about getting ten of these ‘minor’ interruptions a day? That’s 20 mins a day, 100 mins a working week. Bugger that, I’d rather do something else with that 1.5 hours.
How to turn your Do Not Disturb (DND) lights on? Here are some simple things that could work:
- Set aside honest blocks of productive time AND let your colleagues know when this is planned.
- Turn off your emails and other comms methods completely. Yes, this means off! No notifications.
- Set your phone/s to silent or even set calls to go straight to voicemail.
- While it’s not ideal in an open plan office, nothing screams DND more than wearing a set of headphones, even if nothing is playing!
If it’s really urgent, then of course you’ll get interrupted regardless, but for the most part you’ll be left alone to be as productive as you can in this time.
Imagine gaining 1.5 hours back a week, just by protecting your time a little better? What would you do with this extra time that just fruited from our pretty, green tree?
Part two coming soon. Perhaps a part three too.
Finding efficiencies is my jam. It’s awesome. Seriously. No lie.