Coming to work on a Monday morning, many piles of paperwork on the table that resemble small skyscrapers of a little metropolitan city greet you. Then, the boss shows up to say that the deadline for all these papers is set at 3:00 p.m. on the same day. Looking at the tower of papers and the clock that says 9:00 a.m., it seems impossible to accomplish within the given time, and so you slouch and sigh, thinking “What have you got yourself into?” But is it really impossible?
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a company’s CEO. As an example, let’s go with Elon Musk of Tesla, Neuralink, and SpaceX. He has a lot of things on his plate, juggling the responsibility of running massive companies, providing for his family and the other in-betweens of his life.
Musk only sleeps for six hours and then gets out of bed at 7:00 a.m. Even if he has not taken a bath yet, he already has his eyes on the business as he dedicates 30 minutes to reply to “critical emails.” He may not take his breakfast, but he never neglects to fuel up with a dose of caffeine.
The business tycoon then drops off his five sons to school after the morning coffee ritual and goes back to his house for a quick shower before finally going to work.
Despite having tons of things to do on his list with so little time and energy, Musk still manages to scratch things off his to-do list. Now, how does he get through his life from one hectic day to another? Inc.com has compiled five useful hacks you can do to work on your productivity and avoid more tasks from piling up.
1. Let go of your limits.
Adjusting your mentality to something more positive like removing the limits that keep you from performing well in your job is one good deed to do before going into another busy day.
You can do it by reminding yourself about other people’s struggles, particularly those in the higher position who is trying to keep his or her company afloat while nurturing his or her family and pursuing other interests or even allowing some personal time. If these entrepreneurs can successfully handle them, you can too.
2. Plan more and longer.
Time is a currency we all share, and it never hurts to give some more time on the weekend to plan for the upcoming week. So that once Monday has set upon us, you will just focus on accomplishing them.
If planning becomes your habit, it will definitely help you keep yourself focused and away from disruptions like checking what your friends have been up to on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.
3. Make more realistic expectations and restrictions.
Sometimes, the expectations we set for ourselves can prevent us from accomplishing more because they were just too high to begin with, resulting in more things to be done instead of less.
If you want to get past this problem, you should ground your expectations back to reality and make them something that challenges you without asking too much of yourself. If you are having a tough time, then you can ask for a colleague’s help.
4. Don’t be a yes-man.
Let’s get things straight. If you think that some things like a get-together or a party are not working out for you, you can always say “no,” especially if you are preoccupied with different activities or prioritizing on something else that your friends do not share with you.
Try practicing the art of refusing so that once you know what you want and do not want to do, you can easily decline and focus on your priorities.
5. More manpower, more productive
Hiring more people, if your job allows you to do such, can incredibly help you alleviate yourself from the mountains of tasks. Once you have more people in your company, you can appoint them tasks that can help them fulfill their roles and also give them an opportunity to excel and grow career-wise.
On the other hand, delegating tasks will also lessen the workload you have because you finally have more manpower to handle the responsibilities that are meant to them.
More productivity hacks
If you are looking for simpler and quicker hacks to boost your productivity, here are some more tips for you.
1. Have small breaks
First, if you find yourself losing concentration on the task, you might be getting tired. It is not harmful to step away from your workstation and give yourself some time to breathe. Even some quick breaks can help you regain more energy.
2. Multitasking is not productive
Multitasking as a productive hack is a myth, according to psychologists, as you can lose more time and be more unproductive if you keep at it. Instead of getting more things done, you will have difficulties in focusing on finishing the tasks at hand.
3. Do small tasks while commuting
The daily traffic is a real pain, but did you know that you can also be productive while commuting? Instead of feeling angry about the heavy traffic or distracting yourself with some games on your phone, try doing some of the small tasks that can pile up if left unattended like replying to emails and plan out your day. You will thank yourself later because you managed to free up some of your time later in the day.
So going back to the situation, you are once again staring at the papers. It is still 9:00. What do you do? Will you fret about the fact that you have lots of paperwork in a short amount of time? Or will you take charge and deal with what is in front of you before they accumulate? Your time may be in your hands, but it is up to you on how you approach your day and work with the time you have.
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