Getting more done in less time is far more important than we think. If tasks that generally take 8 hours can be completed in 6 hours, then professional accountants can use the rest of this time to socialize, rest, spend time with family, or even acquire new clients.
Most professionals seem to work 10 to 12-hour days, and this generally burns them out in the long run.
Money might be a measurement tool for a business. But time can also be another tool to measure success.
Here are some basic strategies to become more productive and get more done in less time.
#1 Prioritize your task list
Spending just 15 minutes a day planning your work can save you several hours of chaos. Before you start your day, make a list of tasks that you need to complete during your workday.
Then number your tasks in terms of priority.
You may also want to eliminate several tasks that don’t take you towards your goals.
#2 Set goals
When I started off in my career, I always had a list of 10 to 20 goals I needed to achieve in my lifetime. However, I realized that having too many goals can distract you. Pick your top 5 goals. Focus just on these five goals and ignore the rest. When you have achieved these five goals, only then should you consider your other goals.
Success is not always measured by the opportunities you took; it is also about the opportunities that you gave up.
#3 Measure your time
Sometimes we spend a good 10 to 12 hours on work, and we realize that we haven’t gotten anything done. We have no clue where our time went.
It is easy to get distracted by social media and smartphone notifications that we end up wasting a lot of time on unproductive activities that can exhaust us.
If most of your work is on a computer or a smartphone, you can use a tool called Time Doctor where you can track the time spent on each task. At the end of the week, you can figure out if you spent most of your time on productive or unproductive activities.
Sometimes, it can be an eye-opener. We are often surprised at the amount of time we spend on unproductive activities. A simple thing like browsing the internet which felt like just a few minutes can sometimes actually be several hours.
#4 Maintain your energy levels
To be absolutely productive, along with managing time, we also need to manage our energy levels. One of the biggest secrets to higher energy levels is to wake up at the same time every day, a good night’s sleep, having meals on time, exercise, and social activities.
Focusing only on work all the time can make your bored, tired, and burned out. Take time out to have fun and enjoy yourself.
#5 Say NO
We only have 24 hours in a day, and there is only so much we can do in this time. Sometimes, we take on more than we can handle. Trying to fit everything in a day might be practically impossible, so it makes sense to say no to certain activities.
Productivity can be something as simple as being organized, setting fewer goals, being a minimalist, and focusing only on things that are most important to us.