As a leader you probably wish there was more time in the day. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by a never ending to-do list. Here are our five best tips for getting more done in less time.
- Make a list. The only way to get more done in less time is to know exactly what it is you have to do. Write it down and learn to love the feeling of crossing things off a list as you complete them. If making electronic lists on your phone or computer works for you, great (the app, Remember the Milk, is a fan favorite), but try putting pen to paper. You might be surprised how much more motivated you will be by putting your list into writing.
- Do the most important thing first. Once you have your to-do list you should prioritize and do the most important thing first. By doing the most important thing first you will most likely avoid any major complications that may arise unexpectedly or have enough time to fix things if something does not go as planned. Getting things done has a domino effect. If you can just get one thing done (the most important thing) you will probably be more motivated to get the rest of your to-dos completed as well.
- Make the most of unexpected free time. Getting out of class early or finishing a meeting ahead of schedule is an opportunity to get something done! It can be tempting to use this unexpected free time to grab coffee, browse Tumblr or take a nap, and by all means if you need a nap please take one, but you might find that using this time to revise a paper, clean your room or call vendors about spring formal will make you feel better after all is said and done.
- Utilize productivity tools. The simplest tool you can use is a timer. Tell yourself you are going to concentrate on a task for just 20 minutes and set your timer or alarm. If you still haven't made any progress after 20 minutes, take a break or work on something else and come back to your project later. The tech savvy may want to try the website Cold Turkey. The site blocks you from visiting websites, games, programs or even your email that distract you from getting work done. You decide how long you need the sites blocked, and then you are distraction-free for 20 minutes to several days.
- Exercise. Exercising will take up some time in your day that you may or may not think you can spare, but it is one of the best ways to get more done. Exercising will give you more energy, and more energy means completing your to-do list will be that much easier. Give it try!