A productive week depends largely on what you focus on every working day and how much time you allocate to activities that take up your time (i.e. busy work). Working harder does not necessarily mean you are being productive. There will always be a better way to complete that task. Find it, work smarter and get more done in your working week.
These are a few things can do to have an insanely productive week this and every other week.
1. Stop planning, start doing.
It’s okay to make time to plan what needs to be done in the week or month but when you get back to the planning table often, you lose precious productive hours.
So instead of just planning, just do it. The option to work on a task in the future instead of now seem comfortable but not prudent. While you keep telling yourself you don’t have to do it now, that task won’t go away. And somebody will have to eventually account for it. So instead of procrastinating, get on with it and check it off your to-do list.
Also, are your meetings really worthwhile? Most people spend too much time in meetings, when they should be working and getting things done. To ensure you are making the most of your time, create a time budget. This will help you realize how much time you are losing to meetings or planning when you should be doing actual work. You will be surprised at how much you can get done every week if you start tracking how much time you spend planning or meeting.
2. You don’t have to say “yes” to every request.
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” — Warren Buffet.
Saying “yes” to a request seem easier than a simple “no”. Yet every time you agree to do something for somebody that brings low or no result, it makes it difficult to have a schedule you can really control. You don’t want that. You can achieve more if you know what you have to do, when you have to it and what you expect to accomplish. All that can be done in controlled schedule.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist.
If you keep chasing perfection, it could take you longer to get your tasks done – and you will most likely be less productive than you planned. The reason is when you strive for perfection you spend more time on a single task than required, causing your other responsibilities to get pushed back. This will cause you to lose time and possibly annoy your immediate boss in the process. Perfectionism is even higher when you don’t account to anyone but yourself, as the fine tuning never ends.
4. Get everything out of your head.
Don’t rely heavily on your memory. It will fail you when you need it most. Instead, write things down.
There are hundreds of options for taking notes — everything from the good old sticky notes to a range of mobile applications. By jotting down everything that needs to get done in the week, you will have a better picture of what needs to be accomplished – and set priorities accordingly.
5. Review and measure your accomplishments.
Just before you close the week and prepare for next week, review your achievements, along with everything else that needed to be done, to see if you really got work done. Get back to your to-do list and check them off and find out what you were not able to do and why. Celebrate your accomplishments, take note of everything you postponed and learn from your mistakes. You will be better prepared for the following week.