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Get productive, achieve more each day

Updated: Apr 2

Being busy is unavoidable if you run a small charity or social enterprise. Being overrun and permanently frantic isn't - it's a choice! How do some people seem to get through so much work, achieve so much in their working day and then go home on time?

Well, it's all about productivity. Improving your productivity requires a combination of effective time management, prioritization, focus, and self-discipline. Here are some strategies to help you get more done during your working week:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your short-term and long-term goals. Break them down into smaller, actionable tasks. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you stay focused and motivated.

  2. Prioritize Tasks: Use techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix (urgent vs. important) or the ABCDE method (assigning priorities) to prioritize tasks. Focus on high-priority tasks that align with your goals.

  3. Create a Schedule: Plan your week ahead by scheduling specific time blocks for different tasks. Allocate time for important tasks first and then fill in the rest. Stick to your schedule as much as possible.

  4. Limit Distractions: Identify common distractions in your work environment and take steps to minimize them. This may include turning off notifications, setting specific times for checking emails or social media, or finding a quiet place to work.

  5. Use Time Management Techniques: Consider using techniques like the Pomodoro Technique (work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break) to maintain focus and avoid burnout.

  6. Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Large tasks can be overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Focus on completing one step at a time, which can help you maintain momentum and stay motivated.

  7. Delegate Tasks: If possible, delegate tasks that others can handle, freeing up your time for higher-priority activities. Delegation can also help develop the skills of your team members.

  8. Stay Organized: Keep your workspace tidy and organized. Use tools like to-do lists, calendars, or project management software to keep track of tasks and deadlines.

  9. Take Breaks and Rest: Don't forget to schedule regular breaks throughout your day. Taking short breaks can help improve concentration and prevent burnout. Also, make sure to get enough sleep and incorporate time for relaxation and hobbies outside of work.

  10. Reflect and Adjust: At the end of each week, reflect on what worked well and what didn't. Adjust your strategies accordingly for the following week. Continuous improvement is key to increasing productivity over time.

  11. Learn to Say 'No': Sometimes turning down an opportunity, declining a request or just disagreeing with a suggestion is the best way to stay focussed and to avoid being distracted by others.

Remember, improving productivity is a gradual process, so be patient with yourself as you implement these strategies and find what works best for you. Keep practising - being productive will soon become an invaluable habit.

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