Learning to be more productive and effective each day can make a huge difference to your life and your bottom line. But if you are floundering, not knowing how to make that change, how do you get started?
Schedule Your Day
A great place to start when looking to improve your productivity is your daily schedule. Dividing your day into chunks of time devoted to particular tasks streamlines your work and gives your a greater control over what you are achieving or accomplishing each day.
I have a set schedule for my working days and a different schedule for each day of the week. I religiously follow these plans to ensure I’m taking care of what I need to be doing, not only what I want to be doing. Sure, adhoc items come up during the day and you do want some of those adhoc items interrupting your schedule (customer contact, new work enquiries, emails from your team regarding a project you are working on) but following each instance I try to get straight back on schedule.
My time is broken into chunks and each chunk colour coded so I can see at a glance what my time will be spent on that day. In the example below (for my ‘Fridays’) you can see the following colour coding:
- blue = administration tasks
- green = client tasks
- peach = content creation
As well as spending the majority of Friday working on client tasks, Friday is the day I work on creating content for my website and social media accounts. During the week I may have taken notes on ideas for content creation, but on Friday I action those ideas, creating, uploading and scheduling blog and social media posts for the coming week.
ACTION: You can take this a step further and create your own Daily Schedules by downloading the free template I created.
Keep Client Tasks, Projects or Jobs on Track
You will see in the above example that my core job is ‘client tasks’ and I can’t overstate how important it is for you to manage your core jobs so your clients and/or stakeholders are happy and receiving their work as specified and on time. So keeping track of those core jobs is essential for ensuring your not only productive but effective in your work.
I have a lot of clients on my books (I’m very lucky I know!) and I just couldn’t possibly manage all their tasks by writing them on a to-do list, expecting that each task will be managed well and finished on time. To help me with this I use an online platform called Asana – it’s is an easy way for you, or your team, to track your work and get results.
It allows you to set up projects and add tasks under those projects, providing overall views of your tasks so you can open Asana at the start of the day and see which tasks from what project need to be completed that day. You can be creative with the project names, for example I have each client set up as a project in Asana, with the jobs I need to do for them listed as tasks. It can even create recurring tasks that you set to repeat (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) after you click complete. The truly great news is that it has a free version that you can use.
ACTION: Sign up for an account Asana or another work tracking online platform and start logging those projects and tasks today.