With the best will in the world, sometimes it seems impossible to make the most of your working hours. Either you end up working 12 hours a day or your to-do list never gets done. Most people, whether they work at home or in an office, find they have more work than time. Freelancers, especially, need to find efficient working methods, discover their time-sinks and find out where they’re actually losing time during the working day.
Create your to-do list of daily jobs the night before. This way, when you’re ready to start work in the morning you can dive right in. You know what you need to do, the order in which you should do it and where to start. It’s surprising how much time is wasted in just trying to get organised.
Making a list of jobs for the following day immediately before finishing on the previous day can save you up to an hour during the working day.
Make an Early Start
Starting early is especially important for home-working freelancers or the self-employed. With no boss to wag a finger if you’re late one morning, it’s too easy to grant yourself another cup of coffee or a wander around the garden when you should be at your desk.
Set yourself office hours and put your internal boss on high alert. If you should be at the desk by 9am, make sure you’re there. For every minute you’re late, add 10 minutes to the end of the working day. When you know you’ve got detention if you don’t get on with it, you’ll be more willing to settle down and get started.
Use a Timer
There are many digital timers that can sit on your computer desktop, working quietly behind the scenes. Train yourself to set the timer for each job and then monitor how long tasks are taking. After a while, you’ll know how long a particular job should take and can set your timer accordingly.
Bookkeeping can be a real thief of time, so think about hiring an accountant to help you. If you decide to do your own bookkeeping, be sure you look into an associates in accounting to help educate you. Paying someone else to perform some tasks can mean that you become more productive.
Close down your email program and social-networking sites. You don’t need to respond to each new update or email as it arrives. Save such activities for your allotted break times or for the end of the day if you need to escape from the computer during your breaks.
Adopt a ‘Just Do One’ Approach
When all else fails and you just can’t seem to settle to work, try playing mind games with yourself. Instead of looking at the whole task before you, allow yourself to just see part of it.
Break each task down into very small sections and work on one section at a time. If you have a lot of filing to do, just do the As. That’s all you will do: the first letter. Having got successfully through that section, give another small section a try.
Squeezing more out of the working day can be a challenge, but becoming aware of where you’re wasting time can help you work more efficiently, get more done and possibly even cut your working hours.
Author Bio:- This guest post has been written and contributed by Brit blogger Zoe, on behalf of Brookson.