1- Maintain a to-do list and actions list
Create a to-do list and make it a habit to continually update it. Include urgent and non-urgent items so you’ll never forget or overlook anything again. Carry your list with you at all times, either in your iPhone or your daily agenda. This is practical for when your trains delayed – you can go through your list and pick out and do things while you wait for the train. Also, be sure to break down your projects and assignments into specific action points. For instance, instead of noting “Prepare Performance Reviews,” write:
• Research absenteeism records on employees
• Review personal files
• Read employee goals
• Assess performance
• Prepare “Performance Review” documentation
• Meet with employees to discuss reviews
2- Allocate your time
Include an estimated time frame for each action point and the date by which the task must be completed. If the order in which you perform the tasks doesn’t matter, you might be able to accomplish something during unexpected pockets of free time. For instance, you could research information on the internet while waiting in your office for a conference call to begin.
A great tip here is to do the your worst task first – more info on how to do this here: worst first
3- Set and respect deadlines
Be realistic about setting deadlines and strive to meet them. It’s true that any task takes the exact amount of time allotted to it. Have you ever noticed how quickly you can blitz through paperwork, delegate assignments and make decisions on the last day before you go on holiday? Although we tend to get a lot done when we’re under pressure, it is a lot less stressful and considerably more professional to establish and stick to an action plan.
However if you find you only work best in pressure then try the Pomodoro technique to get more done. Find out how to use this technique and download the pomodoro eBook here