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The things we set out to do with our day and the amount of things we actually get done at the end of the day, are often not the same. We want to do a lot but end up doing basically nothing. And then we wonder how we spent 12 hours on the couch, only getting up to grab the remote or go to the bathroom!
At some point we have all wished that we had more than 24 hours in a day. Or more days in a week. But unfortunately we don’t have control over that. And actually, the truth is, even if we had 50 hours in a day, we’d still find a way to waste it and wish for more hours. The only thing we can control is how we spend our time each day. Which is the all the more reason we need to learn how to get more done in a day.
How to get more done in a day in less time
There are certain things that hinder us from getting a lot done in a day, some of which include distractions from things (or people) around us, not being organized, being overwhelmed with a never ending to-do list, e.t.c. But in order to get more done in a day, you must know how to squeeze out the most quality time out of every single day.
In this article, you will be learning some very effective tips and tricks on how to get more done in a day. Hopefully this will help you take action so you don’t wake up when you’re 52 and regret not doing what you should have been doing all these years.
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1. Set your priorities straight
Sit down and take some time to list out your priorities, then examine what is most important to you. Start listing down from the most important to the least important things you intend to do. Stick it somewhere you can easily see or look at it and don’t waste your time doing unimportant things.
Once you are able to set your priorities straight, you have taken a bold step towards achieving more during the day. It is also very advisable that you break your priorities into smaller parts in order to help you carry out the tasks more effectively.
2. Write a daily to-do list and stick to it
Write out a list of things you have to do for the day and stick to doing them. Make sure they are realistic and achievable, and once you have completed any of these tasks, go back to the list to cross it out. This helps you to keep track of what is next and also gives you a sense of accomplishment!
One very important thing to remember with a to-do list is to add everything you have to do. Don’t leave anything out except if you don’t intend to do that particular thing. A compilation of those small tasks that you do is what eventually helps you achieve the bigger goals and amounts to greater achievements.
3. Get up from bed early
It is best to get up from bed early if you want to accomplish most of your tasks for the day. There is a difference between waking up early and getting up from bed early. Once you are awake you must make sure that you get up from your bed immediately. Splash some water on your face or take a shower and get on with the tasks for the day.
Resist the temptation of snoozing the alarm and going back to bed at all costs, because if you don’t, you will cause yourself more harm than good. Yes, I know how much nicer it feels to snuggle back in bed especially when the weather screams “Stay in bed!” Now, friend, do not listen to that voice. I repeat, do not listen to that voice, it’s a trap. You will thank yourself later during the day for getting up early.
4. Detach from social media
Amongst the many distractions that might derail your productivity during the day, social media poses a very high threat. When we start surfing through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we tend to get lost in them, then we lose track of time and the important things we should be doing. And before you know it, you’ve spent over an hour looking through pictures.
The best thing to do is to allocate a particular time for such activity, preferably during your break. If you keep on checking social media at intervals while you are doing serious work, there is a very high chance that you will lose concentration and end up wasting a lot of time that you don’t have.
While you are busy doing other things, it is best to silence your phone if possible to avoid distractions.
5. Take it one step at a time
In a bid to get things done fast, we might be tempted to overwhelm ourselves with completing so many tasks at once, knowing fully well that we can’t accomplish them.
In times like this, we need to learn to take things one step at a time. It is okay to multitask sometimes, but when you do it too much it makes you lose concentration and increases the possibility of you making mistakes in whatever you are doing. Or you might even be so overwhelmed by all the things you have to do, that you end up not doing any of them. Hello, procrastination.
Instead, try to focus on one activity at a time and work towards completing it as soon as possible in order to move on to the next one. Don’t think about the next activity while working on the current one, just focus on getting the first thing done. The rest will follow and it will become easier.
6. Set a Deadline
One of the most important tips on how to get more done in a day is to set a deadline for each task at hand. Once you know that you have to be done with a particular task at a certain time, this would prompt you to get on with the task and get things done fast and on time.
You can set a timer or reminder nearby, which would ring at intervals or stare at you each time you look up, to serve as a trigger for you.
7. Take a break during the day
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (and Jill a dull girl, to be fair). It is understandable that you want to get things done as soon as possible without taking a break, but you also need to realize that everyone needs a break at one point or the other, so don’t deprive yourself of it.
Give yourself intermittent breaks so you don’t get overwhelmed with everything you are doing. This helps you to have some time to be with yourself and free your mind. By taking a break, you are giving yourself a fresh start and you will be able to get more things done as soon as possible.
8. Do the difficult tasks first
What better way to get things done fast than by doing the most difficult tasks first and then moving on to the easy ones? Doing the difficult tasks first is like getting a huge problem out of the way first in order to have a smooth and more enjoyable ride.
Once you have finished off the difficult tasks at hand, you will be more relaxed and able to get the other tasks done without pressure.
In the words of Dale Carnegie, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
9. Get adequate rest and sleep
One indispensable tip when learning how to get more done in a day is to make sure that you get adequate rest and sleep before you set out for the day’s task ahead. And this means going to bed early the previous night.
According to doctors, an average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Now the big question is, how much sleep are you getting?
As the saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise.” Although it is very important to get up early and get going with the day’s task, it is equally important to get adequate sleep. Therefore, you must learn to go to bed early in order to rise early.
Make sure to organize your schedule appropriately and sleep when you should.
10. Learn to make effective decisions fast
You won’t get much done during the day if you can’t make effective decisions as fast as possible.
One of the most time consuming tasks we have to deal with during the day is decision making, but once we can learn to effectively cut down the time we spend on it without affecting the decisions we make, then we can succeed in getting more things done during the day.
You can give yourself a 60-second rule. This means you should work towards making any decisions you have to make within 60 seconds and not waste unnecessary time going back and forth on making a decision.
11. Get rid of any distractions
Although social media and our phones are a huge distraction for most people, which hinder us from getting more done in a day, there are other things and factors that may serve as a form of distraction for you.
It could be the television or radio around you, or it could be a particular person constantly popping in on you. Whatever it might be, it is best to get rid of it or stay far away from it till your work is done.
According to David Allen, “People allow themselves to get distracted; I think ultimately, probably the biggest thing that gets in the way of people doing at any point in time is distraction.”
Distractions not only hinder you from getting things done fast, but they also affect your progress and waste your time.
12. Recognize what prompts you to get things done fast
There are certain things that help us round off our tasks as soon as possible. Since it differs from person to person, it is best you find what yours is and use it to accomplish your tasks as soon as possible.
Some people tend to be more active and productive when they are listening to music, while the person next to them just needs a cup of coffee to keep them going. There are several others like that, which serve as a boost to help you make whatever task you are doing more enjoyable and help you to round it off fast. So, what you have to do is find what yours is and stick to it.
13. Get Started
Sometimes we end up spending so much time planning and talking about what we want to do, that we eventually end up not doing anything or not having enough time to do those things.
The trick is to get started, it doesn’t matter how you do it. A lot of people usually complain that they don’t know how or where to begin from. But the bitter truth is that you will never be able to accomplish anything if you keep up with that line of thought.
It doesn’t matter how you start, the end result is what counts because you will definitely catch up along the way.
As Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
So, get started now.
14. Work hard but work smarter
Hard work is very important, but working smart is more important. Most times, it doesn’t even matter how hard you work. It is those who work smart that eventually get a more favorable end result.
You need to constantly find a faster and smarter way to get whatever task you have at hand done. It won’t just save you time, but it will also save you from unnecessary stress.
15. Create a Routine
It is best to make a habit of doing certain things at a certain time daily and sticking to it. If you have to send a report everyday, it is best to fix a time for that particular activity and stick to doing it at the same time everyday.
Creating a routine helps you to build consistency in the important tasks you have to do. It makes you more organized and you get more things done faster, because you don’t need to waste time on thinking about when to get what done.
On a conclusive note, you must have learned a thing or two (or fifteen) on how to get more done in a day from the points raised here. As Dan S. Kennedy said, “Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.”
You must be willing to deliberately take these steps and more, in order to get more done and increase the all round productivity in your life. Keyword: Deliberately.
You might also want to read about:
- 10 Things To Do Every Sunday For A Productive Week
- 15 Morning Routine Habits For A Productive Day
- 25 Easy Ways To Beat The Monday Blues
- 10 Tips On How To Have An Abundance Mindset
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