We all want more time to do what we want and would likely give some spare body parts for a solution that would help to minimize work while accomplishing necessary tasks. But while there is no single perfect solution to this conundrum, several strategies exist that can help you reach the place where you are doing less while accomplishing more. The following strategies will not revolutionize your life and may not work for everyone, but used in combination they can assist in making your life more productive, enjoyable, and less stressful.
1. Keep your life simple by making only one large goal to meet per year. It’s a fact that the more goals you have the less focus you can hold for each goal. Your energy and time can become so divided that nothing is really accomplished and you are left wondering what went wrong. Instead, break down your yearly goal into a smaller goal that can be accomplished in three to six months. Then, break down this smaller goal into an even more bite-sized chunk that you can be accomplish in a week or two. By giving all of your energy to each short-term goal you can easily keep on track to accomplishing the major goal by the end of the year.
2. One of the well-documented facts about human nature is that when we lack passion we also lack motivation and drive, become less productive, and jump from place to place until we find something that we have an emotional incentive to accomplish. It follows that without passion you will probably take much more time to accomplish tasks than if you were psyched about your job. If you aren’t passionate about your work, start looking for something else to do. Don’t run out and quit your job, but do some research, find out how you should develop your skill set in order to do what you love and make it your goal to find work in your dream field.
3. Make it a point to come into work an hour early. Sure, you’ll have to retrain your body to accommodate a slightly different sleep schedule, but you’ll avoid the morning traffic jam, you’ll have an hour of time to work without distractions, and you can get more done each day. You may even find that you become so much more productive that you can leave early each day, adding an extra hour of free time to your evenings.
4. Round up all of the niggling tasks like emails, paper shuffling, and phone calls that don’t take much time independently and do them all at once at one set time during your day. Instead of slowly accomplishing these tasks throughout the day while constantly interrupting more important tasks, this batching of small chores allows you to mark them off of your to-do list in one fell swoop. Add another point to your productivity score.
5. Steer clear of the small-time assignments and go for the big projects that will help you not only build a name for yourself but also become more productive during your time at work. Obviously you need to make sure you can accomplish said big projects with aplomb but if you have the skills, snag the big-time jobs, put them on your “most important tasks” list and watch the perks and recognition roll in. If there are no large projects available, create your own. Not only will your boss be impressed by your initiative and creativity, you also get the chance to form projects that work to your strengths while helping your company’s bottom line.