Think you need to burn the midnight oil to stay ahead of the game?
Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, so you might feel under pressure to stay late or take our work home with you.
If that sounds familiar, you deserve a pat on the back for your commitment, but you won’t be doing your productivity any favours if you sacrifice your sleep. In fact, a bad night really impacts on your mood and ability to stay focussed the next day, which won’t make your boss happy.
Instead, try working smarter, not harder. Follow these tips for making a productive to-do list and you’ll save time for more important things like catching all fifty of those winks on your Bed Guru mattress, each and every night.
Break it down
It seems obvious, but prioritising large/difficult tasks is a must. Consider breaking them down into more manageable stages. ‘write up the 30 page report’ is not quite the same as ‘post birthday card’, and so should not be treated as such.
You may have lots on the agenda, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember to think about how much time you really have in a day, and write your to-do list accordingly. Stay focused on those urgent tasks, but consider time you need to eat and rest to avoid unnecessary stress.
Even the most efficient to-do lists can fall short when an unexpected phone call or email throws everything out of rhythm. You can never account for every eventuality, but leaving an hour spare here or there will certainly help you keep your cool.
Depending on the nature of your tasks, you might be able to kill two birds with one stone, or complete one task easier because of another. For example, meeting that client for coffee, might mean you can also post that letter, or make that trip to the supermarket all in one trip.
Strike a work/life balance
If you love a good to-do list, the urge to complete every task imaginable is a daily struggle. As much as it goes against your organised nature, remember that sometimes life is meant to be a little bit random or chaotic, and that’s ok.
Use what works best for you
Some people prefer to scribble it down on good old fashioned pen and paper, while others turn to their smartphones or mobile devices to keep on top of tasks. In our modest opinion, having a piece of paper you can pick up and interact with is more effective than data stored on a mobile phone.
Keep a sense of self
Don’t let your life revolve around your to-do lists; you don’t want to be known as ‘that guy/girl’. Always make time for family and friends, and enjoy the sense of freedom earned by getting your jobs done quicker and easier than ever before.
There you have it. Put your productive to-do list at the top of your, well, to-do list, and you can sleep easy knowing you’re still on track.
Stay tuned for more informative posts on the Goodnight Guru Blog!