It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or what level of job you have at a company, it seems like every year you are asked to do more in the workday. When this happens, anyone can become overwhelmed, resulting in decreased productivity, increased stress, increased risk of health issues, and a much greater risk of burnout on the job.
There are some simple strategies you can use to help to free up your time. Use as many of these strategies as possible to gain back time throughout the day and to become more productive without putting in a lot of extra time on the job.
Get Rid of Energy Drainers
Make a list of all the things you do that drain your emotional and mental energy. These are the dreaded tasks that you put off as long as possible, or the things you do that are non-productive and simply take up your time.
From this list, look at the ones that you can remove from your list of things to do. Most people find there are redundancies and overlapping issues that can be both combined and refined to be more practical, require less time, or done more efficiently.
The short list is then manageable. Schedule these activities early in the morning and early in the week, if possible, to get them out of your way. If they can be delegated, move on to the next strategy.
Some of the energy drainers or the routine activities you do can be delegated to someone else. Look for a member of your team that would be efficient and effective at handling the task.
Keep in mind, individuals on the team looking for more leadership responsibilities may be more than willing to take on these tasks. This can also provide a mentorship or a coaching opportunity where you can support their continued understanding and professional growth while freeing up some of your time.
Research into how the brain works and how productive people function shows that the more things people try to do at the same time, the less effective they are at any of those tasks.
The same thing applies to switching back and forth between tasks. The time it takes your brain to align with the task is lost time, and the more you switch back and forth, the more time you lose.
A better option is to work on one task or try to avoid juggling multiple complex or challenging issues at once. Try breaking an activity into 20-minute blocks of time and then moving back and forth with a short break in between. This allows the brain to switch gears in the one to two minute break, and then focus for the 20 minutes on the single task at hand for maximum productivity.
Scheduling, taking regular breaks to get up and move around, talking to other people, and getting away from your desk for lunch and breaks throughout the day all boost productivity and creativity, helping you to get more done in less time.