With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to kick it into high gear at work! Wanting to get everything completed so we can roll into the holidays with no impending doom of the work we didn't complete is of utmost importance to enjoy your time off with friends and family. I know I do not want to be thinking about incomplete projects, or worrying I didn't do enough customer service outreach before the new year while i'm stuffing my face full of Grandma's famous Christmas Cookies!
Let's finish off the year with 5 refreshing productivity tips to make sure we are all working as efficiently as possible before there's snow on the ground and you are living in your coffee and Baileys-stained pajamas for a week straight (here's hoping!)
Tip # 1: Implement the Ivy Lee Method
This method dates back 100 years (feel free to Google it if you'd like to learn more of the history behind it), and it is proven to help you be more efficient and productive in your daily life. The Method is simple...
It forces you to make the hard decisions of what is the most important for the next day and helps prevent wasted time on things that are not as important or even figuring out what to do with your day.
Tip # 2: Time Blocking
Now that you've tackled your Ivy Lee Method list, what next? Use Time Blocking as a tool to make time for all the things your work day requires. For example, if you need to make time to answer emails, make phone calls, book appointments, meet with your team or do some research, schedule a certain amount of time for each task. This way, you can make time for all your daily tasks without realizing you've spent all day replying to emails and not making any of your important calls you needed to make. Giving yourself 45 minutes on emails, 20 minutes on phone calls, and 15 minutes of Instagram scrolling will really keep your day flowing! You can even set a timer to be sure you are following the time blocks strictly.
Here's a link to buy your own cube timer. Makes for a nice desk accessory also!
Tip # 3: Delegate
The more the merrier! There is no I in Team! Teamwork makes the dream work! You get the idea...simply put, you can multi-task more efficiently if someone else could take over some tasks for you. Delegating can be hard for people...letting go of the control and the need to know everything is done "just so". But the day you learn to drop the reigns, ask for help, and delegate items to people around you, not only will there be less burden on your shoulders, but more time for your other daily items on your to-do list. Speaking of lists...
Tip # 4: Write it Down/Make a List
Would you have forgot to call Pam back if her name and phone number were written down staring at you all day in your calendar or written on a to-do-list? (If you answer yes to this question, maybe add calling Pam to your #1 spot on your Ivy Lee list). Not only do lists help you in knowing what needs to be done at work, they are helpful in life too. Just like going to the grocery store without a list, you come home to unload grocery bags full of potato chips and Kit Kat bars - making a list of work items to be done keeps you on track for not forgetting anything. You can make lists in a fancy notebook with a matching pen that you ordered on Amazon! Or even the Notes app in your phone...whatever method works for you. Seeing the note in your face all day long is a great reminder that nothing gets forgotten or missed. You write down doctors appointments in your calendar, so it makes sense to write down "Call Pam back at 2:45pm today!"
Tip # 5: Schedule "ME" time
Part of your time blocking MUST include this. "Me" time can be anything: Pilates from 12:00PM-1:00PM. Go on Facebook 11:00AM-11:15AM. Walk to lunch 11:30AM. Take a coffee break at 10:00AM-10:10AM. Check out Aritzia Sale online 3:00PM-3:30PM. Whatever it is, you will be more productive clearing your head and coming back to work with a fresh mind. Maybe this was the reason we had nap time after story time in preschool? Maybe we should bring that back to adult life? Think we are on to something here!
We all have days were there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. If we can take a moment to organize our day, ask for help and/or take a moment to pause and breathe during the stress of it all, you may find yourself able to leave your office at 5:00pm feeling a little lighter. Why? Because you have everything for tomorrow written down by priority, James in Sales is helping you out with your Q4 report, you have a reminder to buy coffee for you and Jane in Accounting and you set an alarm to go bring the coffee to Jane at 3:00PM and ask her how her date was on Saturday...
but she only has 15 minutes of "ME" time to fill you in, so it better be good!