Trying to beat deadlines but still not achieving much? There can be a variety of reasons for that. Here are some tips to get ahead of your work schedule.
1. Write Down Your Goals
Schedules serve as guides in work and any other aspects of life. They help you maintain a healthy balance between your priorities.
There is truth in that sometimes they can be difficult to follow. Everyone deals with inevitable circumstances from time to time.
But you can take one task at a time until you complete everything in your list. Your schedule does not necessarily have to feel as rigid as it appears.
Here’s how you can work your way around:
- Identify the responsibilities that are expected of you
- Name the tasks that you need to complete
- Set SMART goals — SMART means specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely
As they say, what works for one does not necessarily work for you too. Once you know the tasks you need to fulfill, you can set goals to achieve them — and write them down.
How does writing your goals help?
In a research conducted on the Harvard MBA graduates, only three percent of them achieved ten times the rest. These were those who wrote down their goals and made a plan.
Others either had their goals only in their minds or had no goals at all. And they achieved much less than those who did.
Writing down your goals improves your chance of success. It helps to narrow down your aim and to remind you of their importance.
2. Get What You Need to Complete a Goal
One of the reasons why it is sometimes very challenging to get ahead of your work schedule is the ambiguity of the task. You find it difficult to pinpoint what is specifically being asked of you.
So, you set it aside for a while until such time that you forget about it. However, one task can turn into a multitude of to-do things on your table. They can pile up sooner than you expected.
“When you have to get organized, you’re probably not appropriately invested yet in what you need to get organized for.” – David Allen, productivity coach
Having a goal is already one step towards achieving success. It means that you intend to fulfill what was asked of you.
But the path to achievement does not end with having a goal. You also need to work at it. And that involves getting the things you need.
Those things could be:
- Answers to your questions regarding the task
- Tools and software to use
- Small things like your reading glasses
- Your knowledge and expertise
It’s alright to not know everything initially about a task. But you can invest in it through sufficient preparation.
How? Ask around and do some research, or go purchase those reading glasses if your eyes could no longer read clearly. So that when the task arrives, you just need to list it among your to-do things and get moving.
3. Be Proactive
David Allen put it this way…
“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”
In other words, do not set aside the things that you can do today. There are times when inspiration kicks in at the least we expect it. Putting it off to another day could already be challenging to remember.
To get ahead of your work schedule, you can:
- Write down important details or ideas regarding a task
- Work on your schedule and take a break when needed
- Report to work with clear goals at hand
- Do what you could to at least finish the majority of tasks in your list
- If you still have a lot of time available and you’ve already completed the tasks for the day, work on other tasks that are also nearing their deadlines
How are you keeping up with your workload? Perhaps you just need a little push in confidence and work on your tasks. Work and keep the momentum going.
4. Take Good Care of Your Health
According to the World Health Organization, the employees’ good health can result in increased productivity for the organization. And the impact is even better on those fulfilling low-income tasks in a risky occupation and setting.
It is important to understand, however, that good health is not just reflected by your physical body. But it also includes your mental, social, and environmental wellbeing.
That is why companies invest in their employees’ wellness. Did you know that according to SHRM, more than 60 percent of business leaders believe that good health affects the productivity and performance of their employees?
A few steps you can take as an individual to take care of your health:
- Exercise regularly
- Treat yourself to a relaxing massage
- Have a healthy diet
- Bond with your friends and loved ones
- Get involved in your community
- Walk your dog at a park
- Go bicycling
While it is needed to complete the tasks you have, it is also highly needful that you take good care of yourself. It can help you provide better results and decreases the stress you may be experiencing from your workload.
With less stress, you can feel much better and more able to get ahead of your work schedule.
Extra Tip: Do the Pomodoro
This special technique has been up since the late 1980s. Employees from around the world have testified of its great effects on them.
What to do in a Pomodoro technique:
- Identify how much effort you need to accomplish a task
- Learn how to avoid distractions
- Estimate how many Pomodoros you need
- Use time not just for work but also for recap and review
- Set a timetable
- Find your personal objective after completing each of the goals mentioned
Each task, however, needs to be done in parts. And you need to complete the thing you are currently working on before you can proceed to another.
According to Cirillo Company, it is not about beating the time you have set but about making that time work in your favor.
You can learn more from this website of the Pomodoro technique.
How do you manage your workload? Do you know other tips to get ahead of your work schedule? Feel free to share them with others in the comments below!
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