We all have some comfort zone approaches to our work schedules. When they are in place, we just slip into our work mode and off we go.
But sometimes we get so drawn into the way we do things, that we bog down or just keep lagging. If you seem to finish every day slightly short in goals and deadlines, start thinking about what might be happening. Fast Company and InsideTech.Monster have suggestions.
Do random calls, instant messaging, and drop in visitors absorb way too much time?
A few minutes here or there works, but long sessions can really sabotage the day. Planning to meet after work, using lunch to catch up, or returning calls in batches can keep your work time focused and moving.
Do you start the week with an overall schedule or just plunge in?
Highlighting the big goals and must do’s for the day and the week, can sharpen targets. Just plunging in and seeing where you are at the end of the day may get the work done, just not as smoothly.
Do you find yourself caught in email communications or generalized meetings that get strung out?
Sometimes it is better to just pick up the phone and settle an email issue, or only have meetings that have agendas that produce real action items.
When you screw up does the memory just hang around?
Skip brooding, learn from your errors, and do better next time. As you pick up speed and move your work forward, past errors will seem a lot less important.
Is it all too easy to bump targets forward?
You know yourself best and sometimes, in spite of the best intentions, you may find ways to justify small delays and side trips. If you have to, post a small flag reminder somewhere that reminds you of your immediate targets.
Do you allow a bit of cushion time for slipups?
Most things do not flow perfectly. Building in a little time to fix things here and there can take the heat out of your schedule.
Are you a born fireman?
No matter what task you have lined up, if an emergency shows up you are first on the scene helping out and pitching in. Consider when to jump in and remind yourself of what you are responsible for overall.
Do little things eat up bits of every day?
Do you spend way too much time assembling basic notes or looking for key files? Take the time to organize and then keep the core procedures and material in place within easy reach.
Whatever you do to streamline the day should pay off in productivity, room for creativity, or a less stressed day.
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