How to Increase Business Productivity While Protecting Personal Down Time
It seems that no matter how many time-saving technological advances that come along, there is always a shortage of time. Not enough time to get things done. Not enough time to do the things you really want to do. There is certainly not enough time to get through everything on your to-do list. Yet, you still need to perform and remain competitive with a sense of a work-life balance.
Time management is a necessary skill for anyone who wants to be competitive in their industry, and it is a must for those who want to enjoy a fulfilling life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to gain control over your business life and your personal life. In fact, making time for both is key to success.
Ways to Get the Most out of Life & Business
Schedule Work and Play
There are few business professionals who do not schedule their workday. You have things you must get done, and the best way to make sure that happens is to schedule your tasks. But a number of leading professionals also recommend scheduling your downtime. Some business professionals claim that keeping your commitments to activities like sports, hobbies and maintaining your relationships is what makes it possible for you to keep your work commitments.
Get Enough Sleep
The image of the tireless titans of industry still looms large in the collective consciousness, especially among business professionals. Unfortunately, following in the footsteps of these mythic figures can have serious negative impacts on both your productivity and your health. Science is clear on the need for quality sleep in adequate quantities. You will perform better if you are well rested, and you will definitely think more clearly.
Being able to juggle while walking a tightrope is certainly impressive. However, if you want to juggle really well, or walk the tightrope flawlessly, you will need to do one at a time. Research demonstrates that trying to tackle multiple tasks at the same time, or switching rapidly from task to task, does not produce the same quality of work as doing one task at a time. Deep focus on one task to allow yourself to become fully immersed in what you are doing to lead to results you can be proud of.
Timebox and Guard Those Blocks at all Costs
When you have important projects to tackle, schedule time blocks of two to four hours to focus intently on what you are doing. Shut out all possible distractions – turn off your phone, shut down email notifications, lock the door and put a sign up that you are not to be disturbed unless it is a genuine emergency.
Redefine what Balance Means Daily
Your life is always in flux. What was most important one day may not be most important the next. While you want to continue to work on your overarching goals, achieving a sense of balance requires reassessing and redefining what balance means to you day by day. Instead of locking yourself into priorities that may not serve you all the time, allow yourself to be more flexible.
Set a Timer
There will always be tasks that you do not want to do, and will probably avoid if you can. These types of tasks are often best tackled in small increments. Set a timer for a time that seems relatively easy for you. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, something that does not scare you away. Start the timer and work on the undesirable tasks. Allow yourself to stop as soon as the timer goes off. You can set another timer and do it again after a short break. Or you may find that you just keep going. Starting is often the hardest part.
It is normal for your mind to be drawn to stressful subjects, but thinking about work while at home, or home while at work, makes it hard to get the most out of where you are in the moment. Many professionals find it useful to compartmentalize their thoughts. When you hit the office, focus on the office. When you go home for the day, focus on the part of your life that is not work-related.