We all have a finite amount of time in each day, each week, each month. Most of us have an ever-growing list of things to accomplish within those time frames. How can we get more things done?
- Spend less time on each agenda item
- Limit distractions
That was simple, huh? Not unlike: “the best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.”
Got phone calls to make? Without being rude, take care of business within each call and avoid getting into extended chats about sports, media, weather, business, etc. Remember that others have much to accomplish, too.
Got emails to send? Keep them brief and to the point. Even if you need to share important details, state them clearly and quickly.
Got in-person visits to make? When possible, set up a time that is convenient for you to drop in. If you are cold calling, be swift and purposeful without being curt.
Got writing to do? Formulate your basic ideas and get started. If you have a hard deadline, forge ahead. Otherwise, coming back later may give you a chance to think and expand your ideas.
Limiting distractions requires much self-control. When you overhear conversations about sports, current events, TV, etc., you may want to chime in. When your computer indicates an email has arrived in your inbox, you may want to open it immediately. When your phone rings, you may want to find out who’s calling. When you finish another task or two, you may want to take a Facebook or Twitter break. Be strong and focus on your task of the moment.
Those who work at home must also deal with distractions from family members, pets and doorbells.
Remember that some days will be more productive than others. When you get a lot accomplished, let that inspire you to have another great day tomorrow. When you don’t get as many things done as you’d wanted to, don’t beat yourself up. As Scarlett O’Hara reminds us, “Tomorrow is another day!”