Have you ever felt like deadlines are something that’s impossible to meet?
Are you constantly missing out your deadlines and then later on blaming yourself in regret?
Do you always feel like time is just something that is so difficult to manage, making you scattered and miserable for the lack amount of it?
If your answer for all of those three questions are yes, we need to talk.
The truth is that as a human being, we are all being granted the same amount of time (which is 24 hours) every day. The difference between highly successful and effective people with others, however, is in how aware they are with the time given to them.
For successful and highly effective people, time is something that is valuable. So, they treated it accordingly. They treat their time with smart approach, knowing that by doing so they are investing themselves and their time a huge load of beneficial opportunities in the future.
Below are 12 smart habits that you can take if you want to be one of those smart and highly effective people.
- Understand the priority of your works
This step right here can make-it-or-break-it your career. It’s an essential skill that we need to understand and implement in our life and work situation. When we understand our work priorities, we give a chance to highly beneficial activities to be done first. It makes the process of producing something much easier when subconsciously you realize that the heavy load is off the table.
Divide your workload by 4 categories.
- High benefit and low cost
- High benefit and high cost
- Low benefit and low cost
- Low benefit and high cost
Understand that what we mean by cost is your time, energy and even your literal resources.
Start by doing the highly beneficial activities that could give big impact to your career, then follow it with the not so beneficial ones. It is also important to reassess the value behind each work you are doing. Make sure that each works that you do is actually meaningful work, meaning it will add to your long-term goals.
For the low benefit-high cost activities listed above, you might want to rethink it. Do you actually need to do it? Can you delegate those tasks? What can you do to minimize the cost of these works?
Prioritize your works, and you will find that your productivity will likely increase dramatically.
- Be aware enough to know when to delegate
Delegation is the art of outsourcing outsider time in order to improve the quality of your own time.
We know it’s not easy to just believe in other people to do what you are supposed to do. Sometimes in this busy business world, we want to do everything by ourselves, because we believe that we are the only one capable on grasping the concept of what we have to do.
However, this is far from truth.
If you are constantly finding yourself busy without much productivity, there is a problem here: you don’t delegate enough.
You might be doing too much low benefit activities with high cost (see point 1). It is extremely time-consuming, but giving you little to none in the long term.
Be aware enough that sometimes you just need to believe that other people would do the work just fine (heck, sometimes even better!) and they will save you valuable quality time that you can spend doing more fulfilling activities.
- Schedule your tasks
Carrying a notebook by yourself is always a good idea. You can just jot down your ideas and your top priorities of to do lists.
After deciding the priorities of workloads that you have, you can start scheduling and find the best time for each workload that you need to do at the time.
You might want to start with a clear and objective head, not being disturbed by anything at the beginning of each days. By doing so, you will be able to assess what you need to tackle at specific point in your days. This will then result in more clarity about what to do each session of your work hours.
Focus on what’s essential at any given point of time, and eliminate the rest. Clear your desk off distractions, and start give the best performance to step up your career game.
- Set up your deadline and make sure to meet it
Notice the difference between your own deadline and your customer’s deadlines. If you want to be productive and effective, you need to understand that setting up your own deadline is necessary for your career journey.
By setting up strict deadline for yourself, you will be able to finish one task without extending the time unnecessarily. According to Parkinson’s law, tasks expand to fill the time given to them. This means that you are (consciously or not) doing more than you need to do and even got distracted a lot if you have long deadlines.
We both know this will result in negative behaviour of overthinking, over-analysing, and even procrastination.
Setting up your own deadline will make you more discipline, and more committed to your own pace of work. We don’t want it to be too slow.
- Avoid procrastination
At the very core of us all, maybe we are all procrastinator. Sometimes, doing things we need to do just seem daunting and scary, while other times we just don’t feel like it.
The difference between highly effective people and others in procrastinating is that the amount of awareness they put into this situation.
Procrastination could very well be a waste of our energy and time, forcing us to do something that is more enjoyable rather than what we actually need to do.
If you are a procrastinator, your professional and personal life will be affected deeply, because this is a trait that’s quite dangerous for us if we are doing it on a continuous basis.
Understand the core of your procrastination to make sure you tackle your works in time. Give yourself a pat on the back and some rewards if you do your job on time, and excellently. You deserve it.
- Avoid too much stress
With too much workloads that you have, stress is something that seems unavoidable. Something can and will go wrong at any given point of time, and you just are not ready for it sometimes.
In order to avoid stress, there are many things that you can do. Delegating your tasks and workload is an excellent choice. When you are delegating, you save a lot of time to mind what’s really matter and you will be able to handle your deadline graciously.
Focusing on what has been done instead of what hasn’t is another good technique to reduce your stress. You want to make sure that the level of anxiety you feel is being eliminated as much as possible.
Another thing that you can try is meditation. With the right technique of meditation, you will understand better about life and coming back to what’s really essential in our life: experiencing it and just be grateful for every single moment.
- Use various time management and productivity techniques
Pomodoro technique is a great technique in which you are expected to do your work for 25 minutes and then taking 5 minutes break. This technique will help you reassess the improvement of your work and making it easier for you to focus.
Another technique that you can imply is 80-20 rules, where you are expected to do the 20% tasks that will bring you 80% results. This is a great technique to discover and implement because it really helps you maximizing your results without compromising your quality of both work and refreshment time.
You can also use software or applications like iamhomer to track your time and make sure you use it optimally. Choose the best options for you.
- Avoid multitasking
Professionally, multitasking never amount to something good. Sure, you can just do everything at once in superficial stuffs. However, when it comes to your work, multitask can actually hurt your capability on producing something with good quality.
When our mind is divided, our functionality as a sharp-witted intelligent people reduced. Our ability in doing deep work and decision making then compromised.
Do each task that you need to do carefully, make sure you are doing it with full focus. Distraction like social media when you are working is a big no-no.
- Start early in your work
This point right here could be translated in two ways.
Start your work way earlier than the deadline (earlier the better), and start your work early in the morning. Both are beneficial for you and your career journey.
When you start early in your work, the workloads on your mind reduced, resulting in even more productive time to do something else that is also important. This step right here will also reduce stress which is very useful for your future journey of climbing the career ladder.
- Take regular rest
Don’t underestimate the power of taking regular rest in between your work. When you are resting, you will find yourself more motivated in the next phase of working because your brain has taken its break. Your head will become clearer and ready to solve the work situation that needed to be done.
Taking regular rest in between your work will also trained your brain to be calmer and keep you in high vibration of productive focus, instead of wearing down and feel depleted.
- Learn to say no
Being busy doesn’t always mean you are being productive. You need to be able to clearly differentiate between productive busy and non-productive busy. The more workload you take doesn’t always mean it’s good for your career.
Have you ever heard of that one person in HR department that seems to never leave the office, yet their salaries seem to be stalled?
Understand that to be able to a person with highly efficient productivity, you are expected to carefully plan your time for beneficial activities and workload in your shoulder. You don’t do what’s not necessary, and this means that you have to say no sometimes.
Being able to say no to what doesn’t helps us in the long run is a skill we need to have. It’s just not kind to ourselves if we constantly saying yes and ended up doing much more than what we need to do.
Respect yourself and your time, and put on clear boundaries about what you will and will not do. The right people and office environment will appreciate you in doing so.
You will also avoid a lot of future headaches.
- Organize your time accordingly
Everything then comes down to this: your time management.
How wise are you using your time for? Are you really maximizing your time, fully aware of each choice that you make about it?
It’s also important to point out that in order to be success, we need not only being successful in our work or career, but also on our personal life.
What great is loads of money if we are not even happy enough to enjoy what it could provide?
Balance is the key to this situation.
In order to be highly productive and efficient human being, we need to realize that work is not the only thing that’s important in our life. We are all human and we need to divide our time wisely to do other stuffs human do.
Make sure that you don’t over-asserting yourself in the area of work that you forgot how it feels like to enjoy your relax time. Or how happy it is to spend time with people that matter.
Organize yourself wisely, do something to have a balance effect in your life.
iamhomer is a time management tool to increase your productivity. It can be used for various usage. Other than tracking your literal hours of working, iamhomer also tracks the time you use for other thing like accessing your social media, your favourite website, your applications, etc. Works offline, thus you can track your time and be productive without having to worry about the internet connection.