Most of my client contacts are the ‘go-to-person’ within their organization. They are the ones who are responsible for covering a variety of tasks, especially everything that seems time-sensitive – everything from last minute presentations to all the details for special events to annual marketing plans. They, like me, are constantly on the go and get pulled in all directions. There is always an obligation to do something or be somewhere, usually at concurrent times.
If so, here are a few strategies that may help decrease stress while increasing productivity:
- Apply the 80/20 Rule to your day. 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your daily activities. Therefore, identify the activities that make up your 20% and work to improve the efficiency of that 20%. By focusing on the most effective areas of your workday, you can achieve dramatic improvements in productivity.
- Develop your agenda. Every meeting needs an agenda to be productive. Likewise, every person needs an agenda for each day to be productive. Identify the goals and objectives for each day. When you develop an agenda for your day, prioritizing requests and activities will become clear.
- Learn how to sequence your response to information. Sequencing refers to prioritization. Every day we must constantly choose how to manage information and requests. The order in which these tasks are handled will vary, but should serve to minimize distractions and fit within your agenda. This way, you won’t stop writing your brief every time you get a new email, and phone calls won’t be a distraction when you are working on a document needing your full concentration.
- Establish your methodology. Whether it’s email, telephone, face-to-face meetings, or a combination of all three, identify a preferred style of communication with others for each activity. Once you identify your communication preference, seek to incorporate it into your agenda and sequence accordingly.
By focusing on these strategies for just a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day, you will learn to prioritize your tasks, minimize distractions, increase productivity and achieve your goals, while eliminating stress.
Don’t work harder, work smarter!