Often the terms busy and productive are used synonymously. However, they are not the same. Busy refers to being continually occupied or working all the time. While productive can also refer to working a lot, it is working with purpose and is more focused. Being productive lends itself to the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.”
No matter the position you hold, you’re probably responsible for taking care of both the present and looking ahead to the future. Whether you are busy or productive, there are always areas of improvement, an opportunity to pursue positive, ongoing practices.
To work towards improved productivity and effective time management, follow these three excellent approaches:
Do a Time Audit
Looking at how you’re addressing your biggest challenges is the first step to improving how you do things. Prepare a daily schedule. Identify items that can be delegated or cross off unimportant tasks from your to-do lists. Your productivity may also drop if you break up your process too much or do not take enough breaks. Various solutions can be employed to address time management, but limiting social media apps at certain times or silencing notifications are two that can have a great impact.
Adjust Your Approach
Be intentional and positive when setting your goals. When you have a project that has to be finished in a month, break it down into 30 days. Having 30 achievable, smaller tasks to work on from the start is a great way to tackle a major task.
Constantly Improve Your Process
To improve your process for better productivity and time management, check off as many items on your to-do list as possible. We all have those things that must be done but do not require a heavy mental burden. This allows more uninterrupted time to focus your creative abilities on more important tasks or projects.
Another good strategy for improving your process is to set aside some time each day for learning (even a small amount). You will see that everyone has their unique method of learning, whether you listen to a podcast, read a book, or talk to your team. Use what you learn and incorporate the techniques that work best for you into your productivity process.
Regular use of these methods is necessary to make them effective. Occasionally, take a moment to examine your work process. Identify your unimportant tasks and cross them off your list. Assess your approach and make adjustments. Managing your time effectively and increasing productivity requires being mindful and nurturing positive expectations.
Finally, learn, improve, and experiment. With the growth and change, your needs will also change. Continual growth and improvement mean always being willing to make changes.