Have you ever had a list of things to do during the day and at the end of the day you feel like you got nothing accomplished? Don’t feel bad -it happens to a lot of people and we wanted to give you some things we do in our company that helps increase productivity and allows you to complete your tasks. These may not be suitable for everyone and we are just outlining strategies we have implemented to increase production while lowering costs. We hope that by seeing some of these things you’ll be able to adapt them into your own system and regiment.
Step 1 – Write Out Your Tasks The Night Before
This article from Fast Company points out that research has shown that sleep helps people come up with creative ideas to solve problems while inspiring creativity.
If you write out your tasks the night before, you can use your body’s natural sleep to help you. By using this to your advantage, you will sub consciously be thinking about creative solutions for your tasks.
Another benefit of writing out your tasks the night before is you can hit the ground running first thing in the morning. While others are writing out their tasks for the day, you already are working on completing yours.
Here is a video of Marcus Lemonis and his Top 10 Rules For Success and look what the 3rd point on his list is.
Step 2 – Write out 5 things and then number them in order of importance
On a daily basis, we have a list of things to do and we actually separate our list into two sections: Projects and Tasks.
Projects are the “bigger” things that need to get done but take a little more time. For us, these can be things like concept and design creation for a client’s shirt or maintenance on our machinery.
We write out 3-5 projects per day to complete. We then write a number next to each one which signifies the importance and order they should be completed in. This way, you have a solid game plan of what needs to get done and you complete one before moving on to the next.
Most people will only have a single list to rank in importance but because we have two sections, our team members rank them per section.
Tasks are smaller things that can be done quickly. We follow the pomodoro technique to get these done. If you don’t know what that is, this technique was developed in the 1980s and it was named after the pomodoro kitchen timer. It basically breaks down work intervals separated by short work breaks in between.
You can find out more about the Pomodoro technique here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique
Step 3 – Don’t schedule a task due date – Rather schedule a specific time the task will get done
This is the one a lot of people overlook and once we started implementing this simple strategy, it really ramped up our productivity.
Most people will simply put a due date for their tasks – ie. This task is due in a couple of days. There are a couple of things wrong with this:
1) If you give someone a due date (example: finish this by the end of the day), they will take all day to complete the task, even if they could have completed it much quicker.
2) If you think of this as a general task with a general due date, you’ll undoubtedly always have other things coming up with will keep “delaying” your ability to complete this one task. By the time you know it, the due date has come and gone.
People are really good at scheduling appointments, meetings, etc. What if you took the same approach with your tasks and scheduled a specific date and time for you to work on completing a specific project or task? This way, you’re blocking off time for it as you would a meeting and this will help ensure you spend the time on it so it gets completed on time.
Do you have a strategy to help increase your productivity so you can complete your tasks? Share it with us below.