Happy Wednesday! Here we are again at the midpoint of another week, and I’m sure many of you are already thinking of all the things you still need to accomplish by Friday. Instead of letting yourself get bogged down by the sheer volume of “stuff” that you’ve got to get done, however, let’s instead focus on ways to get the most out of your time this week. Here are 8 tips to help you be more productive over the next few days (and beyond)!
- – Relocate your alarm clock
We’ve all heard the sage advice about revamping your morning routine. Waking up earlier, drinking a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach, going for a walk or meditating in the wee hours just before dawn, etc. Perhaps that works for some people, but for the rest of us? Not so much. Many of us are starting our mornings in a mad dash because we’ve hit the snooze button a few too many times, and now are rushing to get ready and get out the door on time.
The easiest way to avoid this? Move your alarm clock or phone out of arms reach. If you have to get up to turn your alarm off each morning, you’re much less likely to hit snooze and go get back in bed… at least, more than once. Getting up on time and trading those last 7 minutes (or 14 minutes, or 21 minutes…) for the ability to take your time and be purposeful about how you go about your morning routine sets a tone for your entire day. Instead of being rushed and frazzled and manic as you rush out the door, you’ll be able to think clearly about how you go about this first part of your morning. As a result, you’ll have better experiences all throughout the day, because you’ll be more focused and better prepared to handle whatever comes your way.
- – Organize your objectives for the week, grouping similar items together
We all have what seems like a never-ending to-do list on our plates each day. However, in today’s world, we are always looking for ways to work smarter and not harder. This list has several tips to do just that, and one of those is to spend a bit of time organizing the things that you’d like to get accomplished for the week in a way that groups similar items together. For example – if you have to compose a web request for three separate events or projects at some point during the week, group them together and use block scheduling to get all three knocked out at once. The idea is that you’re more focused and productive when doing like tasks over the course of time, as opposed to jumping around to different things that have been placed haphazardly on your list of to-dos. Increase your productivity and get more done by taking a few minutes to organize yourself and do the things that flow together, together.
- – Pick one major goal for the week to use as your “Success Yardstick”
Let’s be honest for just a moment – how often do you get everything on your to-do list done each week? For so many of us, the list is an ever growing and ever changing thing that, if not properly managed, can grow and become overwhelming, leading us to feel as though we aren’t making an progress at all.
Instead of holding yourself to the standard of checking off a dozen little boxes by Friday at 5 pm, how about instead focusing on one major goal for the week, and getting that done? Perhaps it is revamping the content on your company website, or maybe your goal is to complete a proposal for a new project to give your boss for review. Whatever it is, pick something and get to work on it. Use your progress toward achieving this goal as the measurement by which you determine whether your week was successful.
- – Make a “Progress List”
Okay, so maybe you don’t live in a world where accomplishing one major goal per week is acceptable. Perhaps that overwhelming to-do list of yours is chock full of stuff that actually has to get done this week. The best way to keep yourself motivated and focused while you drudge through all of that? Make a “Progress List” to sit next to your to-dos, and add to it as you accomplish things – big or small – throughout your week. Seeing that you are actually making progress toward your goals will be extremely helpful in keeping you going through the hard parts of the week. As an added bonus, these are also great success points to keep track of for performance reviews, weekly reports, and one on one meetings with your manager!
- – End your week on Thursday, plan next week on Friday
Go into your week with the intention of getting everything you need to accomplish squared away by Thursday, and anticipate that Friday will be a day of down time as a reward for your hard work. This is helpful in two ways: 1. – It gives you the incentive to get your things done quickly throughout the week, with the understanding that you’ll have a reward for working hard and 2. – It gives you some cushion at the end of the week, which translates into more of what we all need: TIME. You’ll have more time to get your thoughts in order for the week ahead. You’ll have extra time built in in the event that you weren’t able to get everything done by Thursday. You’ll have additional time to breathe, and won’t feel completely burnt out going into your weekend.
Try incorporating one (or all) of these tips into the rest of your week, and see the difference you’ll feel for yourself. You’ll be more productive, and less stressed – who wouldn’t want that?