I feel it becomes harder and harder everyday to stay focused and make important things done.
We may have set SMART goals, planned a careful strategy and have a to do list ready, yet we have so many temptations that keep us away from what we really want to achieve during the day that before we know it we spend hours responding to emails, or surfing the internet , got distracted by colleagues walking by our desk or text messages on our smart phones.
Here five simple steps to keep control over your day and your time:
1-Keep a “to do notebook” : write things to do with a due date and a priority (you can use Steven Covey’s Priority Quadrant from his book ‘First Things First’ )
2-Select things that help you reach your goals : when you have finished your day take a look at your notes in the “to do notebook” and select 3 urgent things with short dead lines and 2 important tasks (things that help you reach your long-term goals)
3-Make a list of thing to do for the next day. Spend 10 minutes maximum after you turned off your computer and other mobile devices to write what you want to accomplish, Use your calendar (for example Google Calendar can be shared on all your mobile devices or Outlook) and schedule the time it takes to have each thing done, Be realistic about time it takes and put the harder tasks at the beginning of the day.
4-Do one thing at a time: Before turning on your computer in the morning, close your office or go to a place you know you won’t be distracted, Take a look at your calendar and start working. Every hour stop and look at what you have accomplished, adjust your schedule if necessary to make the next hour productive.
5-Review: At the end of the day look at what you were able to accomplish and things you weren’t able to finish on time. Analyse what can be done differently to make you more efficient the next day and start over.