There is no doubt that there is much more to do at work than time you have.
Here are seven strategies to get more accomplished in your day:
Memos. Remember them?
Are you old enough to remember these paper notifications that passed around the office? Nearly forgotten in today's world of CC emails - they can be an effective tool to get information around the office quickly and break through the online noise.
For those youngsters reading this, memos are normally on company letterhead so they are still official without having to write a letter or long email. Memos can help get key important points across quickly and efficiently. It is easy to miss an email when your inbox is stuffed full, but you can't overlook a memo waiting on one's keyboard!
Carry a notebook
I religiously carry a small notebook with me. It is for my short-term to-do's. Is there anything more satisfying than crossing off an item on your list as done? It's also useful for jotting down all the random thoughts in one's mind so you can stop worrying about that "thing" you feel like you have forgotten.
My book goes everywhere with me -to the gym, night table, meetings.
On one hand I've been advocating paper, now let's look at using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to free up time and money wasted in travel times. You have many choices - Skype, Google Hangouts, gotomeetings...
Turn off your notifications
If you have dedicated time to a task then close your email program (yes, really!!!!) and turn the notifications off your phone. This helps keep you focused and removes tempting distractions.
For the biggies. These next three tips I used to great effect when writing my books:
Break tasks down
Large tasks can be off-putting. You might feel demotivated by it/them and keep procrastinating about starting the task. The simple solution is to take a moment and break the task into bite size chunks (ala the goal setting technique). It will make it feel easier and less intimidating to manage and help you get the ball rolling.
Set yourself deadlines
Like breaking a task into bite sized pieces, creating an outline allows you to work through your large jobs more effectively.
When I wanted to write a new book, I would outline it.
This enabled me to work in small or large time blocks and to skip around. By this I mean not having to go from A to B to C through to Z - working chronologically. Rather working on D if I had a small moment of time; then on V which was a more difficult portion and I had the concentration level required for it.
Outlining is a superb way to avoid writer's block.
Do you find it difficult to focus completely on tasks longer than 20 minutes at a time? If your schedule needs you to get a solid hour in then use a reward method.
Promise yourself a tea break or biscuit once you reach a certain milestone. For larger projects promise to do something fun after work or buy yourself something nice once the work is completed. Sometimes having a direct benefit to your task can motivate you short-term to push through and get it done.
What I used to do was add an extra day onto speaking engagements that I had out of town. I would make myself sit in the hotel room (no distractions - phone and email off) and set a writing goal for that day. When complete my reward was to go out for a schmooze around the city I was in.