Most entrepreneurs and employees are working more than three hours extra a day. In addition, according to some studies conducted, 6 out of 10 people sleep with a smartphone on one side of the bed and about 80% of people find it impossible not to review their mail outside working hours.
But is this necessary? No. Working overtime is beneficial for you and the company only when it is strictly necessary. But doing it every day talks about an inefficient personal and corporate organisation. Before changing structures or how to work in your company, begin with you. Follow these tips to organise and improve your performance:
Get up early
Start working earlier is a great technique to enjoy the day. If you are among the first to get to your workplace, you can start your day with less distraction (unnecessarily long greetings, inopportune phone calls, etc.), allowing you to focus on what you need to do. Indeed, it’s hard to implement, but have confidence in your effectiveness.
Plan your day
The best way to get out of your workday is planning it. Dedicate 20 to 40 minutes daily to this task and, for no reason, think that this is wasted time. Quite the contrary: the definition of a good work schedule will allow you to prioritise with certainty and advancing on the really important issues.
If you do it every day, eventually will enhance your “global vision” on your tasks and be able to anticipate difficult meetings or identify new tactics to improve your performance. If you arrive early, those minutes of concentration will be your best ally when you plan your day.
Attack the most difficult tasks first
Prioritise and confront with more complex tasks as soon as possible. When you start the day, your concentration levels are better, and you have more energy.
Result: you resolve the toughest issues more quickly and efficiently. The other side of the coin is to leave everything to the end and take the risk to make mistakes because you are not in your best physical and mental condition.
Stick to attend one issue at a time
If you believe that being multi-tasking person is an advantage, you’re wrong. Proper planning of your activities and the determination to first attack the most difficult tasks will allow you thereupon, to have the ability to attend one issue at a time.
The goal is to really concentrate to solve problems, to write a new business plan or procedures. Moreover, you will do it in less time. If possible, avoid distractions, and be guided by your agenda.
Rest from time to time
When you are planning your day, leave some blank spaces to rest. Your body and mind need breaks to recover energy.
Remember that rest is not synonymous for wasting time. You can read your favourite newspaper for 15 or 20 minutes, drink coffee outside or have a nice chat. Do not overdo breaks and avoid interrupting others while you are distracted.
Learn to say no
Although it sounds logical, a great secret to focus on what is really important is to disregard the menial tasks. If you don´t learn to say no, it is very likely that your schedule will fill with issues that take a long time and produce few benefits for the company and you. All this without counting the fact that all unnecessary tasks are neither paid nor appreciated.
Reorganise your workplace and your computer
Your workspace, most likely, has two faces: a real (your office, plant, etc.) and virtual (your computer). It is impossible to be efficient if the environment is so cluttered that you can lose tens of minutes looking for a file or that important document that someone left on your desk.
It is not about to “forget” everything in drawers or electronic folders to make it look nice. The sole purpose of working in an organised space is to facilitate your performance and, if possible, stimulate your creativity.
Do you need to be always available?
Communication technologies – read email, messenger, smartphone, social networking and telephone mailbox – are very useful if you know to manage them properly. But beware, they may become the worst enemies of your efficiency.
Tip: Avoid the distractions of always being online and learn to use these services sparingly.
Divide tasks into smaller activities
Start each day by giving priority to activities, writing and recording each. By separating into simpler and short tasks, your brain responds better, you will decrease stress and achieve your goals faster.
Tasks that do not generate profits or just waste your time delegate to someone from your team or hire the outsourcing services. Do not look at that as an expense but as an investment.