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11 Tips to Being More Productive and Efficient in the Short and Long Term | Jill Duffy, Pcmag.com
Protect your most productive hours, curb distractions before they start, and master the art of efficiency with these pointers.
1.Track Your Time
There are three primary methods for tracking time, and I’ll summarize them in a moment. But before that, you have to know that time tracking doesn’t have to be accurate to the minute. Just watch roughly when you start and stop work, when you take breaks, your meal times, how long you spend on household work versus leisure time, and so forth.
The three primary methods for time tracking are:
- time estimates
- time logs
- and automated apps.
Time estimates use a look-back method. When you’re at the end of the week, you think back to what you did and estimate how much time each activity took. Then you classify and tally up those hours however it makes sense to you.
Keeping a time log, the second method, is more accurate. You fill out a daily time sheet that shows 15-minute or 30-minute increments. So from 8:00–8:30 a.m., what were you doing, roughly? It’s best to fill in your time log throughout the day as you go, though you can also do it at the end of the day. You decide how best to classify the time and add it up however it makes the most sense to you.
The last method, using automated apps, is most accurate, but these apps are limited in what they capture. For example, they’re excellent at capturing how you spend your time on a computer, but not everywhere else. If you’re only concerned with your productivity while in front of a computer, then these apps are incredibly useful.
2. Keep a To-Do List
Write a to-do list, and learn some tips for how to make a good, productive to-do list. Make each entry concrete and actionable. Only write down things that will be done on a specific day, not tasks that take several days to complete. When your list looks too ambitious for the current day, keep the most important tasks and push everything else to another day. Don’t try to take on too much at once.
3. Review Your Calendar and To-Do List First Thing
Look over your calendar and to-do list first thing every morning. Try to make it a habit by doing it at the same time you do some other habit, such as sitting down with a first cup of coffee or right before you log into your work email.
4. Protect Your Most Productive Hours
For most people, the most productive part of the day is in the morning—not immediately after you wake up, but usually before lunchtime. Use those hours for the work that matters most! Don’t schedule meetings then. Don’t check email. Don’t catch up on social media. Conversely, if you’re a night owl, protect your late hours the same way. Then put your butt in the chair.
5. Check In With Yourself Regularly
“Am I doing what I said I would do today?” Productive people check in with themselves regularly. That’s how they stay on track.
6. Think in Terms of Tomatoes
Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a productivity trick that has you work diligently and uninterrupted for about 25 minutes (called a work session), then take a short break of about 3 to 5 minutes. You repeat the cycle and after 4 cycles, you take a longer break. The name comes from Francesco Cirillo who wrote a book called The Pomodoro Technique where he explains how he uses a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato to time his work sessions and breaks; pomodoro is Italian for tomato.
7. Proactively Curb Distractions
If you know that you’re easily distracted by websites, whether it’s social media or news, you can proactively block yourself from accessing them when you’re trying to be productive.
8. Force Yourself to Take Breaks
Taking breaks is like sleeping; you’re not productive while doing either one, but both are crucial to staying productive in the long term. If you work too long without appropriate breaks, you burn out sooner or risk hurting yourself and you end up way less productive overall.
9. Move More for Your Productivity and Creativity
Some breaks should be short so you can get back into the groove of working quickly. But at least one break per day should involve getting out of your chair and moving for a while. Prolonged sitting is bad for both your productivity and your physical health. Walking is the simplest option for most people, though if you can’t walk, any low-impact physical activity that you can sustain for about 20 minutes should do.
10. Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks
When you finish on time or early, reward yourself. Buy a coffee. Tweet your success. Doodle. Message a friend. Or just savor the moment. You have an opportunity to create a habit here of rewarding good behavior. That’s positive reinforcement. You’ll see better results in the long term if you reward yourself for a job well done rather than punishing yourself with new (and unscheduled) work.
11. Save Time for Sleep and Slack
Sleep. Sleep well. Sleep enough. No one is at their most productive or efficient when sleep-deprived.
Lastly, remember to always put self-care before productivity. You can’t do anything for anyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself first!
How To Manage Your Virtual Teams Effectively By Overcoming The Challenges | Sweety, Dailybayonet.com
The challenges of managing virtual teams can vary from company to company, depending on the team structure, project type, and company culture. The virtual office benefits both the employees and the employers. Still, there are a few maintenance issues faced by businesses that need to be solved for steady business growth and to avoid bigger problems.
Use An Effective Collaboration Platform That Overcomes The Difficulty Communicating Across Teams
Communication issues can be overcome using an effective collaboration platform. There are many tools out there that promise better communication. However, virtual teams need something that is not only reliable but also effective to bring people together and organize team projects. Mostly, virtual teams rely solely on email to communicate, share documents, and conduct one-on-one meetings. Use a platform that allows teams to video chat, group video calls, and even employee time zones, so remote workers can easily see where their colleagues are.
Building Strong Team Relationships By Allocating More Time To Team Building Practices
The ability to establish lasting relationships with coworkers and other team members presents another problem for virtual teams. Employees in an office set talk throughout lunch breaks, over coffee, and at their desks. However, quick chats are a little more challenging for remote workers to have. The motivation of a team and their general well-being inside the organization are impacted when they feel alienated and lonely. Small conversation may appear insignificant, yet it has a major impact on the emotions of your teams. Allotting some extra time during weekly virtual team meetings for workers can cheer them up and talk about their personal life.
Raising Productivity Levels By Using Effective Tips and Hacks
Productivity is an integral part of the remote work environment. It keeps the team members secure from getting distracted by other tasks or other things. Maintaining Productivity is often considered one of the most detrimental issues virtual teams face. Most employees find working from home to be more productive than working in the office.
Managing Tasks and Project Remotely by Tracking and Reducing Team Workloads
If you’re having trouble getting a team to complete a task, it’s a good idea to stop and reassess who’s assigned the task. In most cases, the bottleneck is caused by one employee being overworked and another having less work to do. Try team management tools that let you assign tasks, break projects down into smaller milestones, set priorities, and get an overall overview of the entire project. Tools need to be able to keep teams connected, manage tasks, and track everyone’s progress. Empower your team with the tools to manage workloads and know exactly what they need to complete their projects.
Virtual offices have made the businesses more flexible in terms of working hours and employment. And as the number of employees working from home increases, leaders need to keep their teams productive and focus on their jobs. The problems of the remote team must be resolved in advance so you will have a motivated, happy workforce that knows how to communicate and use the resources needed to succeed.
7 Signs You Should Transition From Full-Time to Part-Time Work | Cynthia Measom, Finance.yahoo.com
Working a full-time job eats up 40 hours of your week, or more if you work overtime. Unfortunately, if your job is not ideal, those 40 hours could feel much longer and take a toll on both your mental and physical health.
Here are seven signs you should transition from full-time work to part-time work.
You’re Having Health Issues
“Listen to your body; if you are chronically fatigued, your health is declining, and your body feels like it is breaking down, this is your biggest clue that you should slow down,” said Paul French. managing director at Intrinsic Search.
You Have a Lack of Motivation
“Dwindling motivation to do anything work-related is not a sign that you are lazy; it could be that you are overworked and overwhelmed, and it is time to slow down,” said French.
You Don’t Have Time to Take a Lunch Break
“Some jobs are so demanding that they don’t allow time for employees to take necessary lunch breaks,” said Brian Jones, MEd, LMHC. “This can happen even if the employer is technically meeting legal requirements. You might be constantly receiving messages or requests from coworkers during your break, or having meetings scheduled over your lunch break.”
You’re Exhausted at Day’s End, but Can’t Sleep
“Another sign of working too much is not having enough energy to make dinner at the end of the day, while also being unable to relax and get a good night’s sleep,” said Jones. “Without these basic building blocks making up a person’s daily routine, it can be difficult to improve time management anywhere else.”
Your Work is Affecting Your Mood
“You might also find that work is affecting your mood,” said Jones. “Perhaps you’re more irritable, anxious or depressed than you used to be. While mood changes can be due to a variety of factors, working too much can be a big one.”
Your Boundaries Are Blurred
“Even when you tell yourself you’re done working for the day, you’re still checking emails as you get into bed. Maybe you’re taking your work laptop with you on vacation. If there’s no clear boundary between your work life and your personal life, then this could have a negative impact on your personal relationships. You might notice that you prioritize work obligations over spending time with family and friends.”
You Can’t Stop Thinking About Work
“Finally, one other thing to consider is whether you’re able to turn off your work brain.” said Jones. “Even if you are spending time with loved ones, are you really present with them, or are you thinking about problems at the job? Maybe you’re always stressed about your next presentation or concerned about a problematic customer.”
Pros of Transitioning from Full-Time to Part-Time
- You can have more time to spend with family and friends.
- You can engage more with hobbies. If your job itself doesn’t provide the type of fulfillment you want in your life, maybe having time for hobbies will provide the balance you need.
- There may be physical health benefits. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which puts the body into a fight-or-flight state.
- You may be able to follow a more regular meal and sleep schedule.
- You might come into contact with a more authentic version of yourself, outside of your identity at work.
Cons of Transitioning from Full-Time Work to Part-Time
- You might lose key benefits like health insurance or paid family and medical leave, depending on where you live and how many hours you work.
- While you can have more time for hobbies, you might not have as much money to fund those hobbies. The same goes for going out with friends or family.
- For some people, reducing work hours might be a way of running from their problems. This may be a way of giving into their anxiety and discomfort at work, rather than pushing themselves to expand their comfort zones.
- You might also not find a more fulfilling life outside of work. It may take some extra effort to make sure that you’re still using your time in a fulfilling manner.
8 Tips to Balance Your Full-Time Job with a Side Hustle | Rebecca Lake, Moneytalknews.com
There’s no magic bullet for how to balance your full-time job with a side hustle. It takes planning and patience to make it all work.
But whether you’re spending a few hours a day on your side hustle or just a few hours a week, these strategies can help you find a happy medium between working for your boss and trying to become your own boss in your spare time.
1.Pick a side hustle you’re passionate about
If your goal for starting a side hustle is to eventually turn it into a business, think about what you could see yourself doing for the long term. Consider your passions and use those to generate side hustle ideas so you’re doing something you love. That way, having a full-time job and side hustle feels less like having two jobs.
2. Set clear boundaries
Being an entrepreneur with a full-time job means you only have so much time. You need to be clear about what you are and aren’t willing to sacrifice, said Andrew Chen, a product manager at Google who has three side hustles, including running the personal finance website Hack Your Wealth.
3. Have a schedule
Having a set schedule for working on your side gig can help with maximizing your productivity. If you don’t follow a schedule, try keeping a time log for a week to see where your time goes each day. Then, figure out where you can carve out extra time for your hustle.
4. Take advantage of small pockets of time
One misconception about how to balance your full-time job with a side hustle is thinking you can only work on either one in big blocks of time. Albert Lee, a doctor who works 50 to 55 hours a week and also runs the home improvement website Home Living Lab, said how you use small moments of downtime can be just as important.
5. Eliminate distractions
One of the biggest struggles with how to balance your full-time job with a side hustle is making the most of the time you have available for your side gig.
Brendan Heffernan, owner of Dunk or Three, has a 45-hour full-time job working with high school students and a lucrative part-time freelance writing and editing gig. Since he’s also a parent, he maximizes his side hustle hours by eliminating distractions as much as possible.
6. Take care of your health
It’s tempting to work long hours to grow your side hustle, but consider what the trade-off may be health-wise. If you’re tired, that can hurt your productivity at work, potentially endangering your day job. And once you get home from work, you may have zero energy to focus on your hustle.
7. Put side hustle tasks on autopilot
If your side hustle is website or blog-based, you could try using similar automation tools or so that you don’t have to be as hands-on with your business. You can also use automation to manage other parts of your life so you have more time to focus on your side gig.
For instance, you could set up automatic bill payments so you don’t have to worry about due dates. Budgeting apps can help with tracking your spending automatically, taking the hassle out of doing it manually.
8. Remember your why
If you’ve lost sight of your why, take time to remind yourself what your goals for side hustling were when you started. Whether it’s getting out of debt, creating financial security for your family, or being able to walk away from your day job one day, use your goals as an anchor for staying grounded and focused.