3 steps to a more efficient workday
1. PLAN YOUR TIME
Some might say that planning is a waste of time. When you plan you do not deliver anything. I totally disagree. When I plan, I make sure that the time I am productive, I spend it doing the right and important things. During a busy workweek, it’s not always easy to separate between important tasks and «busy work».
Bonus – when I plan, I avoid thinking and worry about everything that needs to get done – because I know that I have written down everything of importance and set off time to handle them.
2. ONE FOCUSGOAL FOR THE DAY (45 - 90 MIN)
It takes between 15-25 minutes to put away «everything else» and really get into focus-mode. That’s why I set 45 - 90 minutes everyday, to one important and central task that usually takes a while. I then get into focus-mode, and know that I get the bigger tasks done.
Every week I write down five focus goals for the week. Maybe I take them from a list I have – but the thing to keep in mind, is that it should be something that takes 45 - 90 minutes.
It helps me to hold focus on whatever moves me forward. And I get to finish my goal for the day - Then I at least can be happy to achieved that, if all the unpredictable things should happen that day.
3. THREE TASKS TO MOVE YOU AHEAD (15 - 20 min)
It is easy to do the simple and less important tasks and there is always a phone call or an email that steels focus. Sometimes, I have a day at work where I just do «busy work» – answering emails, attend meetings and take phone calls – but I don’t do anything of relevance of moving me towards my goals.
When I get to work with a list of three important, but smaller tasks that takes maximum 15 - 20 minutes, it’ll be easier to get going. If you have too many things on your todo-list, it can take away focus and the goal for the day get blurry.
Number 2 and 3 – the goal for the day – that’s what I call the 1+3 plan. One focus goal and three important, but smaller tasks each day. I then prioritize doing somethings that will move business in the right direction, and I get the feeling of getting more done. I still answer emails, answer phone calls, attend meetings and discuss with colleagues, but setting some smaller, actionable tasks make my day more efficient.
Planning makes me more proactive and let me control my time and my priorities, so that I move in the direction I want.
In the planner, I say that everything that gets written down on the ToBeDone list, should get an action - always – even if its:
- Started on
- Not important