Don't let time tick away

Byby Brian Bartes
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
kgo-Job Journal

SACRAMENTO (JobJournal) -- Even when you put maximum effort into everything you do - from your work life to your personal life - it can feel like it's never enough. No one ever seems satisfied! You, your boss, and your family want more - whether it's your time, work, or attention.

So you wind up working harder and longer, but you get frustrated because you don't see results. You feel exhausted because you aren't getting enough sleep. Eventually, this exhaustion can cause stress-related physical and mental problems.

Don't let your time - and your life - tick away with no results. Here are five tips to fit maximum productivity into your day:

Determine your peak periods. These are the times of day when you have the most energy and are most productive. Maybe you wake up with a burst of energy. Maybe your caffeine doesn't kick in until late morning. Or maybe you're more productive after 3 o'clock.

Identify your peak periods and plan on tackling your most complex projects during this time. Next, see how you can boost your energy during other times throughout the day. Maybe a short walk or a healthy snack is all it takes!

Rethink your to-do list. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with to-do lists. We love that they identify our tasks and projects, but we hate that they're never-ending. Some items we just never get to, others seem so overwhelming. Therefore, there's little satisfaction with the to-do list. To make your list more manageable and productive, schedule time in your planner for each item. Then you'll be more disciplined to do them.

Plan for interruptions. It's almost guaranteed that as soon as you sit down to work on a project, someone knocks on your door or calls you. Make sure you schedule interruptions into your calendar. Of course, you never know when something (or someone) will pop up, so be aware of the times you're typically interrupted. If it's in the mornings, 'cushion' your morning timeline. Or, when someone interrupts, let them know you want to talk, but ask if you can schedule it later.

Don't let e-messages take over. How in the world did we live without email, text messages and Twitter? Yes, they are wonderful tools, but they can be huge barriers to your productivity. Avoid the temptation to check your messages every five minutes. Rather, schedule times throughout the day to check. For example, every thirty minutes or every hour. Additionally, don't let electronic messages dictate your day. If you're sent a text message that requests action from you, schedule it rather than putting off what you're currently doing.

Delegate. There comes a time when you need to admit that you can't do it all. It's okay to delegate tasks that don't require your expertise. Delegating isn't 'dumping' on others! Rather, it's giving someone else an opportunity to grow. Be clear about the assignment's purpose, outcome and due date. Also provide whatever resources and assistance are needed.

We don't realize how much time we often waste on insignificant matters. Stay focused on your priorities and manage your activities so you can be most productive with your time.

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