Being productive and having a routine is great, especially when it comes to your job. You know what is going to happen, you get things done, and you repeat.
But, what happens if you work in an industry where routine doesn’t exist? The fashion industry, crisis communications or even web support can be hectic. Things come up last minute and you need to prioritise things on the spot. So, how can you be productive in a routine-less world? Plan and prioritise, of course!
Everything we do in life can be planned for, no matter how last minute it is. We just need to be prepared for it. If you know you work in a fast-paced industry, you can still plan ahead. Below are some simple tips on how to be more productive:
At the start of every day, week, or month (or all, whatever suits you), you should go through all your tasks and prioritise what is important, what is urgent and which tasks have deadlines sooner or later.
For example, if it is important and has a tight deadline, this is something that would need to be high on your to-do list, and if it is not important and has no deadline then this can be moved all the way to the bottom.
Prioritising your work is a great thing to-do, it will help you focus your time and energy on the right tasks and keep you organised, rather than going through a list of unimportant tasks then finding an important task that needed to be done sooner.
Once you have prioritised your work, you can then start planning ahead for the day or week or month. If something has a deadline for two days away, then plan it sooner and if something has a deadline for the end of the month then you can prioritise. Make sure to factor in how long it will take for each task as well.
If you work in a fast-paced industry, then you should always factor in time for last-minute jobs. Don’t fill one day to the brim, leave a couple hours for those just-in-case tasks, and if you do not have any that way you can start on something else meant for the next day, and so on.
If you work in a team you need to make sure you are clearly communicating your plans. Have a morning meeting to discuss all the tasks at hand so you know what everyone is doing for the day. That way then if something comes in last-minute you know if you can do it or if you have to delegate it to someone else.
If you work by yourself, then you still need to make sure you are communicating to clients and your audience. Let them know when work will be done, if work will be delayed or if content is going to go up a day late.
As you can imagine, there are many distractions in the workplace. This could be people talking, social media or even something happening outside!
It is good to stay focused and not let anything stop that. Close your social medias. Plug in music to block out office banter. Even sit yourself in the boardroom to get some quiet. If you have a lot of work piling up, the last thing you want is your attention to stray, so make sure you are doing everything to keep your mind on track.
A great app that we are currently using in the office is Focus. The app blocks out social media and any other website for a certain amount of time. So if you have a deadline you need to work towards, you can turn on Focus. Make sure you are just that - Focused! It has definitely helped our productivity in the office!
For more tips on how to be more productive and efficient with your time, check out our previous blog: Smooth Sailing: How to be more Productive and Efficient
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