How to be more pro­duc­tive with your time

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS -

1 . Plan the night be­fore

Be­fore go­ing to bed, I al­ways take time to pre­pare for to­mor­row. I look at my sched­ule and see what ap­point­ments I have or dead­lines I need to meet. I prep the cof­fee maker and some­times make my "to-do" list the night be­fore. A lit­tle plan­ning goes a long way.

2 . Wake up ear­lier

When you wake up early, you have more time to plan and get or­ga­nized for the day ahead. Com­plet­ing tasks on your "todo" list early on frees up time later in your day. By the time I get to the of­fice at 7:30 a.m., I've al­ready looked at my sched­ule, grabbed Star­bucks, and at­tended a fit­ness class.

3 . Fig­ure out your main goal or ob­jec­tive

De­cide what your main goal or ob­jec­tive is - think long-term. The main rea­son peo­ple lose track of their time and day is be­cause they don't have a clear ob­jec­tive or goal. So if some­thing comes across your desk that doesn't jive with your goals, it's a pretty firm and easy, "No," "Not right now," or "Some­one else is bet­ter suited to han­dle this."

4 . Cre­ate a cal­en­dar sys­tem that works for you

Cre­ate a cal­en­dar sys­tem that works for you - then use it and check it sev­eral times a day! It's im­pos­si­ble to stay or­ga­nized and on top of your game if you're un­sure about the date, time, and place of your dead­lines, meet­ings, and other work re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. As the old say­ing goes, "If you fail to plan, you're plan­ning to fail."

5 . Limit dis­trac­tions

Limit dis­trac­tions so you can stay fo­cused on the task at hand. This means not just lim­it­ing your use of so­cial me­dia, but also not hav­ing 15-minute con­ver­sa­tions in the break room as a form of pro­cras­ti­na­tion; even close your door if peo­ple of­ten just pop in to have a chat.

6 . Do an email de­tox

I used to get so many spam emails, no­ti­fi­ca­tions, and up­dates. Delet­ing an email may take only a mil­lisec­ond, but fel­low en­trepreneurs know - time is pre­cious - and the brain power could be bet­ter used some­where else. I

did an email de­tox and un­sub­scribed to un­nec­es­sary spam and now only the im­por­tant mes­sages get through.

7 Take small breaks through­out the day

I en­cour­age my clients to take small breaks through­out the day to avoid get­ting com­pletely burned out.

My fa­vorite strat­egy is the Po­modoro Tech­nique, which means set­ting a timer so you can take small breaks (five min­utes or so) in be­tween longer stretches of work (tra­di­tion­ally 25 min­utes)./MSN

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