So it is Monday again….and because I love what I do so much! I love Mondays. There is a whole lot to do this week and I am ready for it. I know it may become overwhelming but I am up to it. I know that it seems like the days are getting shorter and time is just flying, but truth is that a lot can be achieved in a day if you really plan well. Here are some tips on how to have a more productive rather than busy day.
WAKE UP EARLY
This might not be easy for everyone, but this is how I function best in life. Anyone who knows me will tell you I get up earlier than anyone they know. Everyday, even on the weekends you’ll more than likely see that I’m up by 4:00am. I get so much done early mornings because I’m not distracted by any body by then. So I can get my day going with minimum distractions. I start with my prayers, water, work out and writing my to-do-list for the day. I love doing some certain things so early, it makes me relaxed and less tensioned. If I were to sleep in until 10 or 11, I would feel like half the day is wasted.
MAKE A LIST
I can not function without a list! So with your list of things to do for the day, write them in the order of most important to least or with the worst task first. This ensures either your most important task gets done or the task you are dreading the most is finished because who wants to finish a daunting errand after a long day of work.
PICK YOUR TOP 3 TASKS
Three. Not five or 10, but three. This is a realistic goal to set for the day to get things done without feeling disappointed that you didn’t get everything done. In my planner, the top has three lines for the most important things I need to get done that day. I always write them there so I can see it and its a good reminder to focus on those three, because for myself if its more than that I’ll likely forget or not have time to do more than that amount of tasks
There is power in saying no. The older I’ve gotten, the more comfortable I am with saying no to people. This allows you to really focus on what you need to do for the day. No, I can’t go to lunch. No, we cant meet today. No, I can’t finish this project today. This goes hand in hand with not overbooking yourself so that you can focus on the things you need to do to have a productive day.
BUDGET YOUR TIME
Give yourself deadlines and maximize your time. I struggle with this working from home, but I say to myself that I need to complete a task within an hour or I have one thirty minute break. I schedule out my day to make the most out of it so I don’t waste time doing things that didn’t need to take as long.
You don’t need to be superwoman all the time. Delegating the things I don’t have to do has been a lifesaver for me. Within your budget, see what you can outsource especially tasks that take a long time. Find someone to help you with certain things. You can make use of a professional cleaner or a cleaning company to help with your house.Laundry and dry cleaning can come to you to pick up, drop off, fold , save a trip and your time.
KEEP YOUR INBOX AT ZERO
I will admit I’m pretty bad about this, this is the one I am very guilty of, but I do try to deal with an email as soon as it arrives in my inbox. I reply, forward, flag or trash so that my inbox doesn’t get to that overwhelming number. Try to set a time dedicated to emails, maybe once in the morning and once in the afternoon and go through them in bulk so you don’t have to keep checking your inbox all day long.
DONT OVER BOOK
This is also learning how to say NO. In this small Abuja city, there seems to always be some event or dinner or party and honestly I can’t make it to everything. So instead of saying yes and flaking, I really only allow myself to schedule a certain amount of things per day. So always know what to say YES to, not just every event and happenings.
Lord!! Nigerians love meetings, i use to think meetings were very important, but now I know that a lot of people waste half of their day at meeting that will yield no results. Meetings are a waste of time. I feel like nothing really gets done in meetings that couldn’t be done in an email or a call. Only schedule a meeting if YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO,AND IF IT IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT!! Some of business is networking and face to face communication is great, but if its a regular meeting that happens weekly or aren’t productive try to avoid these. More than often, I would leave a meeting feeling like what was the point of that?! If you have to go to one, keep a time restraint let the others know you have until a certain time and stay on topic. Get to the point of what you want to acccomplish so everyone can move on with their day.
I hope you have a productive day and week!! Remember you have the same hours in a day as Beyoncé, Oprah and all other powerful and successful people! Time waits for no one!!