Whether you work for someone or are self-employed, a certain level of productivity is required to run a successful business. Working in an office means you’ll be able to communicate with co-workers easily, though you may also get distracted by continued conversation. Working from home means you may be around family or have household responsibilities that make it challenging to stay on task with work.
Whatever your situation, keep reading to learn more about 5 things that can help you manage workflow and deadlines effectively.
1. Utilize Time Blocking Techniques
Time blocking means sectioning out chunks of time on your calendar for all your tasks or projects. The first hour of your day may be for checking and responding to emails. If you feel most motivated and ready to work first thing in the morning, you might allot a few hours in the first half of your day to your most important project or the one with the earliest deadline.
Setting a timer is a great way to stay focused during each block of time. Though smartphones offer a great deal of convenience, constant notifications mean it’s normal to be sidetracked, so consider putting your phone on do not disturb. Play around with how long you can work efficiently before losing steam, and set your timer accordingly. When it goes off, give yourself a quick stretch break and a chance to check notifications before working again.
2. Use Collaboration Management Systems
If you work with a team, collaboration management systems are great tools for tracking your progress and seeing where your team members are on projects you’re involved with. If you need to ask a co-worker a quick question, you can communicate here instead of typing up an email or disrupting your workflow to walk over to their desk.
3. Delegate Tasks You Don’t Need to Do Yourself
If you own your business, trying to do everything yourself can be overwhelming and exhausting. When you’re attempting to do it all, the need for perfectionism might mean things take twice as long as you’d like.
Knowing what can be delegated or outsourced can make a huge difference in effective workflow, meeting deadlines, and getting things done well. Focus on what your zone of genius is within your business and don’t be afraid to delegate the rest. If you want to create more time in your business to do the tasks you need to do, consider hiring remote Latin American workers for things like marketing, sales, or customer support.
4. Plan for Tomorrow at the End of Each Day
At the end of each work day, create a to-do list for the next day, beginning with the three most important tasks. Clean off and organize your desk so that anything you’ll need for the day is ready to go when you sit back down in the morning.
When you finish work for the day, let it stay at your desk. Leaving projects and to-do’s at work can be particularly challenging when you work from home, but incredibly necessary for your mental health, life outside of work, and ultimately how refreshed and focused you’ll be when you return to your desk.
5. Create Time to Rest
Create blocks of time in your day for rest (and meals!). Not only do you need to rest during the day for your well-being, but you’ll pick back up afterward with fresh energy and a new perspective. Consider scheduling 30 minutes to go outside, read in the sun, or walk. Giving yourself some time to recharge will allow you to come back to your work even more focused.