Four Time-Saving and Productivity-Increasing Tricks For Busy Professionals
Seems like everyone wants to read that next hit novel, or brush up their skills through professional education, or take up a hobby, such as hiking. Problem is, careers and other obligations tend to get in the way. Projects have to be taken care of, deadlines need to be met, family obligations can drain more time, on and on the list goes.
This is a serious issue because people often end up spending their days putting out fires, rather than planning for the future. More often than not, people are treading water, just trying to keep their head above the waves, rather than trying to conquer the ocean.
By increasing productivity and cutting down on wasted time, however, you can free up precious time. That time, in turn, can be invested. You can learn new skills, take online courses, read (or write!) the next Great American novel. Or maybe you can sleep in and catch up on Z’s. Either way, what’s important is being efficient with your time.
1. Start Your Day With By Accomplishing a Few Simple Tasks
Make your bed. Seriously, when you wake up in the morning, make your bed. It’s a very easy task to accomplish, and when you start the morning accomplishing simple tasks, you’re starting on the right foot. When you get to work, again start with some simple tasks, like replying to emails. This will set a good pace for the rest of the day and help you be more productive.
Being productive, meanwhile, will result in saved time. You’ll get tasks accomplished on time, or even ahead of schedule. This can snowball into more tasks and projects being completed ahead of schedule. What’s important is setting the day with a good pace, and accomplishing simple goals and tasks is a great way to do so.
2. Go Remote With Your Work, Learning, Everything
Traveling to every single location for every single event can be a huge expenditure of time. Sometimes it’s necessary. Other times, however, you can make do with going remote. Need to have a team meeting? Can it be accomplished via conference call? Need to talk with a client? Would a video-enabled chat suffice?
The same is true for conferences and workshops. Do you really need to travel from Denver to New York for a skills training session? Can it be accomplished online? Better yet, if you’re looking for learning opportunities, are there on-demand opportunities?
On-demand learning is perfect for working professionals because it allows you to determine when and often where to learn. Have a slow day at work? Plug in some headphones, and watch an on-demand video class. Meeting suddenly get canceled, leaving open space in your schedule? Again, you can use on-demand learning to fill the gap.
3. Create a “To Do” List or Use an App
A simple task list can go a long way towards making sure that you stay on track. However, task lists are a risk if you set them up wrong. First, never make unreasonable task lists. If you do so, you’ll fail to meet up to your expectations. Not only with this weigh you down, it’ll also make you more likely to ditch your check list altogether.
Second, make sure you stick to your task list day in, and day out. This will help you build momentum and rhythm. After awhile, you’ll be happy just crossing tasks off the list. And as you see your results written out in front of you, it’ll reinforce the value of hard work and productivity.
4. Make Your Commutes Productive
Did you know that the average American spends over 25 minutes a day commuting one-way? That means Americans can easily waste nearly an hour on the road each day, commuting to and from their workplace.
Instead of jamming out to your favorite music the whole ride through, turn on an investing news or general news station, and get yourself caught up to date with current events. Or, verbally practice a presentation you have to give to your boss.
If you have the right hands off technology, you might even be able to call clients, or dictate emails to your coworkers, or even listen to an online learning class. There are plenty of things you can do to make your commutes productive. Doing so will help you save time elsewhere.
Conclusion: Use Newly Found Free Time to Remain Productive
What’s the point freeing up time if you’re not going to do anything useful with it? No, you don’t have to spend every waking moment building your business or furthering your career, but you should try to spend as much time being productive as possible.
Being productive might mean taking a hike, or a walk down at the beach. Fresh air and some exercise can go a long way towards making you physically and mentally healthier. Being productive might also mean reading a great novel so your brain has a chance to recharge. Or spending meaningful time with family and friends.
Or being productive might mean learning a new skill. Maybe you want to become a better public speaker, or learn how to program computer code. Learning new skills will help you stay sharp, and will increase your overall productivity.
Either way, make sure you don’t free up time just to waste it. Stay productive!