And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. (Colossians 3:23)
1. Wake up early. Before the rush of the day, awake to quiet/stillness and use this time to take in some deep breaths, pray, meditate, try some yoga and then plan your day. It is good to think of accomplishments that are important for the day, and then plan on fulfilling them.
2. Use the 80/20 rule. The Pareto’s Principle indicates 20% of your work will get 80% of the results. Working smarter and not harder by focusing on the most important 20% tasks. On some days time could be so limiting and this is a way to make the best use of time being more effective.
3. Work on one thing at a time. Do not try to “multi-task.” In my opinion, there is no such thing. You may have different tasks “open” but in reality you can only work on one thing at a time, and these other tasks that is also capturing your thoughts are slowing you down. Put everything else aside and focus on one task until it’s completion. This is an example of compartmentalizing. Put your tasks “in a box” and work from within the boxes. Time for emails, time to respond to calls, time to do this thing, and time for that thing.
4. Avoid distractions. “Stop checking your Facebook and start facing your checkbook” (sorry, I could not resist it). You have to be realistic about what your distractions are and work to avoid them. My mind is always going and I am sure you can relate. At any given moment, if asked, we could jot down at least 7-10 thoughts in the background vying for attention. A piece of paper to jot down the important things will help to stay focus and “release” those thoughts until you are ready to address them.
5. Take breaks. This is important in order to continue at an optimum level. When you push yourself beyond your limits without resting, your output will be less. The economic law of diminishing return is an excellent example of this. Which is, a law affirming that to continue after a certain level of performance has been reached will result in a decline in effectiveness.
6. Set your timeline. Giving yourself time limits, will allow you to get things done in a shorter period of time. If you do not create time boundaries, your tasks will extend time longer than it should.
7. Be a task master. Those tasks that you have to do on a consistent basis, learn to master them so you can be more efficient and effective.