5 Scheduling Tricks to Boost Your Productivity
The best thing that you have at your disposal as a professional is your calendar. This simple organizational tool can help you stay on track, work smarter, and accomplish your tasks in a timely manner. So how can you optimize your calendar to improve your productivity? Whether you prefer an online calendar or paper on your desk here are some things to keep in mind so you can get more done.
- Schedule your day by zones. People work well in blocks of time. Ninety minutes is usually a good starting point. Create hour and a half blocks in which you will dedicate your time to one specific task. Only handle this task during this time. Take breaks between the blocks when you’ve finished. This will help you stay focused on the things you need to accomplish.
- Start with the hardest tasks first. So many people fall into the trap of doing all the easiest tasks first thing in the morning. It can bring such great satisfaction to cross things off your to-do list, but this actually undermines your schedule. If you wait until later in the day, when you’re tired or ready to go home, to finish the most difficult or important tasks you may find yourself procrastinating.
- Set reminders. If you’re using a digital calendar, such as your iPhone, Gmail, or Outlook, you can set reminders for yourself. Any time something is due or you have a meeting create an alert to let you know. This will keep you on schedule and not surprised when something comes up on your calendar. It will also help you track new ideas so you don’t forget them.
- Schedule meetings together. If you frequently have meetings, especially off site, schedule them back to back at the same location. Give yourself a fifteen minute to half an hour buffer in case the first meeting goes a little long. This will also save you gas and money for not having to travel to a new place.
- Block off your personal time. Work/life balance is an important concern for many professionals. It is essential that you take time for yourself and your family. When you are not on the clock, put this on your calendar. If you share your calendar other people will easily be able to see that you’re not available. It will also keep you from becoming stressed during your workday.
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