Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day. With deadlines looming and everyone wanting a few minutes of our time, finding ways to optimize our work hours is more important than ever.
Though unfortunately we’re not actually able to add more hours to the day, having a more productive outlook and using a few helpful tools can make a huge improvement to your day. Even if you’re only freeing up one hour of your time, that’s one hour every day that you can spend doing the important things.
By integrating these 5 tips and tools into your everyday life, you’ll be able to switch your focus and increase your productivity and be on your way to a better professional life.
1. Plan the Night Before
To start off, this simple and quick task can make sure a huge difference in your day. The night before work, sit down for a few minutes and write down your tasks for the next day. This is a great way to move the clutter from your mind onto the paper, freeing up a lot of mental space so you can go into work the next day feeling ready to attack your day.
This is a great moment to prioritize your tasks as well. When you sit down, think about what things you want to have done by the end of the next day. Having this focus will help you avoid spending your energy on time-wasting activities, and can help you measure the progress you’re making on the tasks that are most important to you.
Additionally, planning your day will help you get in a productive mindset that will help you move forward toward your big picture goals.
2. Use your Commute
Whether you’re on the train or getting stuck in traffic every day, commuting can take up precious minutes, or even hours, of your day. The worst part about this time is that you might often feel useless, which leads to more stress as you just think about the tasks that are piling up waiting for you to complete.
This time can be much better spent if you schedule conference calls, mobile meetings, or even clearing out smaller tasks like schedule doctor’s appointments. If these tasks don’t align with your work day, then use this time to work on your self-development by listening to audiobooks or other inspirational audio programming. Engaging with this type of content can help keep you in the right mindset to be more productive and forward moving.
3. Schedule Distraction Time
There are so many small things that can pop up every day to take away your focus. From emails to social media notifications, these frivolous things are pretty much unavoidable nowadays. Unfortunately, we’re not only wasting the time we’re spending on these distractions directly, but one study found that it can take up to 25 minutes to get back to interrupted tasks.
As strange as it may seem, try to schedule this distraction time. Putting these tasks into predictable times in your day can actually save you a lot of time in the long run. A great example of this is how professors will schedule ‘office hours’ into specific time slots so they can predict when they will have multiple interruptions.
In the same vein, make sure you’re taking breaks. You never want to burn out, and taking time to turn off your brain and focus solely on yourself will help you be more productive and waste less time in the long-run.
4. Outsource Tasks
A lot of our time, especially if you’re in upper-management, can be spent on tasks that can easily be done by someone else. Hiring a virtual assistant, or even skipping out on meetings that you don’t really need to be in, can save you hours every month.
Even menials tasks like preparing your own lunch can easily be outsourced to others. Hiring a professional corporate caterer can not only help you save time on food prep and cleanup, it can also help boost morale for your employees, and help impress clients and increase business. Additionally, if you find the right catering company, you won’t have to worry about planning a healthy meal, because they’ll be doing it for you. Spending the time on a good meal will also help you refuel and refocus on your day.
Prioritizing your tasks and getting rid of the things that either don’t have to be done, or that can be done by other people, will add much more time to your day.
5. Stay Positive
Having the right positive attitude can help you change the way you perceive your day. If you’re ready and eager to take on every task, then you’ll be more efficient while feeling better too. With this outlook, you’ll also be more ready to take on challenges that could otherwise prove distracting or time consuming.
Part of maintaining this attitude includes avoiding conflict and tension in your workplace. Listening and engaging with gossip and unnecessary workplace distractions can cause stress that you do not need. With less stress in your life, you’ll be able to focus better and get tasks done in a minimal amount of time. Remember, you should always be focused on moving forward and solving problems, not dragging on and causing conflict.
By integrating some of these helpful tools and techniques into your everyday life, your day will feel more productive and less cluttered. By eliminating time wasting tasks, you’ll be able to cultivate a more positive attitude that will help you stay focused and happy.
If you want to add more time to your day by adding professional catered lunch to your workplace, then contact Cravin’ Fresh Catering. We update our menu every week and offer meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. If you’re in the greater St. Louis, eastern Missouri, and Central Illinois region, then book your catered lunch today.