Personal Development By Virtually Nomadic / October 16, 2014 Technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It is the proverbial double edged sword and if you let it, will steal your time from right under your nose. Demands on your time will always continue to grow; that episode of Breaking Bad everyone is talking about, the football game, new hobbies and even your family. There’s just never enough hours in the day. Here’s some simple changes you can make to save time, keep on task and improve your productivity. Make a List This is as easy as it gets, jot down a list of every single thing you would like to do. This way, you spend less time and energy scratching your head trying to remember what it is you have come to the shops for. Modern technology? There’s an app for that! Jotting down a list at the start of every day or even week means you know exactly what you have got to accomplish, no surprises there. Having checkboxes as well will make it even more fun ticking things off, a reward at the end could also add to the motivation. Get yourself some stickers, or is that a bit childish? Getting enough sleep The rejuvenating power of a solid 8 hours of sleep is often taken for granted, but it can do wonders for your productivity. It is all well and good pulling all-nighters and numbing your system with jugs of coffee (I should know) but in the long run it won’t do you much good, sooner or later you will crack. Sometimes you will work on till the early hours but you rarely recognize the lack of progress due to tiredness. Sometimes throwing in the towel to get some sleep is the prudent course of action. Get a good night’s sleep and you will be refreshed to get more done. Delegate Rule number one of Management school; find someone else to do it. If you are anything like me, no one else does it better and this is a huge mistake. There is always someone who can accomplish whatever you need doing, at a price. Swallow your pride and ask colleagues, friends and family to carry out some tasks on your behalf when you are snowed under. Another option is to hire a freelancer to carryout tasks which take you away from your core activities. Always have a journal at hand No, not the “dear diary” type! Never underestimate how important it is to be able to jot down things you need to do or new ideas. Like all flashes of brilliance, however rare they are. Unless you write them down you will soon forget them because you face an unrelenting barrage of information screaming for your attention. I use a weekly diary, ideal for doodling in, jotting down ideas, quotations, tasks and actionable items both daily and weekly. At the end of the week at a breeze you can view how productive you have been and move any task to the upcoming Monday. Rinse and repeat. Set Way markers Also known as milestones. Goals and aspirations are good and everyone should have them. Otherwise what the hell are you working towards? As well as the big milestone, you need to have a clear idea of what your goal will look like along the way. If your goal is say losing 10 pounds, way markers could be each pound lost along the way. Building an online business? Aim for an achievable revenue in the first 3 months. Setting markers that are achievable is important as this generates momentum. Monitor your progress after a set period of time to see if you are hitting markers. This helps to keep you on course. Surpassed them all? Maybe you its time to push those goals higher! Don’t get stuck, move on to new tasks Conserve your energy by admitting temporary defeat and find another task to execute when you get stuck on a problem. Sometimes things just don’t click, leave your brain to work on the problem in the background. In the meantime you are using your time do something else rather than be engaged in the futile pursuit of banging your head on a brick wall/computer screen. When you finally come back to the problem you may find your brain has found another angle of attack. Try putting these tips into practice. You can start off writing a list of what you are going to do tomorrow and this week. Just by taking the 5 minutes to read this, productivity is already on the up, well done, now back to work!