If the countless productivity apps, books, and classes are any indication, people aren't exactly satisfied with their time-management skills. What's more, learning how to best manage your time is often a time suck in and of itself—unless, of course, you can condense it into two simple steps.
"You can't control the changes that come with working in a knowledge economy, but you can control what you do each day," writes Kathy Oden-Hall, a marketing and communications CMO for Paycom. In order to "incite productivity in your daily life," Oden-Hall recommends a simple, two-fold approach:
- Determine where you're wasting your time.
- Identify your professional values.
Although technology has normalized the idea that we can (and should) do multiple things at once, "studies have shown that if you want to do deep work that puts you in a state of flow and ahead of your competitors, then you must prioritize uninterrupted, focused time," she adds. Whether the typical offender is your phone, email, Slack, G-chat, or even your colleagues, it's critical that you set communicative boundaries at work.
Clarifying your professional values can help you discern which activities are truly worth your time. "There is a reason that successful companies put such stock in their values and vision: Clarity makes space for progress," writes Oden-Hall. She recommends glancing over your job description, reassessing your personal goals, and making a list. "Once you have your values nailed down, certain tasks that have been consuming your time likely will lose their urgency."
What's your productivity plan? Share your thoughts with us below!