A Simple, 3-Step Formula to Extract More Hours From Your Work Day

Does it ever seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day? You feel like you’re busy pushing through your tasks at work, yet so much gets left undone. If only having more hours in the day was an option!

Happily, it might actually be an option, in an indirect way. It’s possible that you aren’t getting as much done in your day because of how you manage your time.

Follow these steps to practice effective time management and add productive hours to your day:

1. Create a task list. A task list is necessary if you want to ensure maximum productivity. It’s a great way to get a look at the big picture so you know what’s ahead of you.

* Creating your task list is somewhat like mind mapping. Just write the items down as they come to your mind. Give very little consideration to the size of the tasks at this point.

* You might find that your task list contains tasks for you and others in your workplace.

* Your task list helps you to be in control of your day. It’s a great way to develop the calmness you need at the beginning of each day. You’ll find it much easier to cope with stress when you have those tasks listed.

2. Prioritize responsibilities. The responsibilities you’ve just listed on your task list are all important. But are there some that are more important than others? You bet there are! It’s crucial to organize them accordingly.

* Prioritizing responsibilities helps you to share your effort based on the significance of each task. Naturally, you’ll want the things at the top of the list to get most of your time.

* At this stage, it’s recommended that you consider your own tasks and the ones for other people separately. Sure, everything requires your attention, but avoid ranking someone else’s urgency above your own important tasks. Remember your hours are precious!

* Once you’ve prioritized, take some time to consider whether you can truly give everything your full attention. The things that aren’t as important may need to be shifted to another day.

3. Allow yourself to focus. If you think that you’re on track after prioritizing, think again! What comes next is ensuring you develop the focus needed to work on each task you’ve listed.

* Sometimes creating a task list gives a false sense of being in control of what needs to be done. But remember that you’re aiming to extract more hours from the day. That’s going to involve focusing on each item as you get to it.

* Focusing means preventing external factors from affecting your ability to concentrate on the task at hand. It means taking only the necessary breaks and knowing when to ask co-workers to excuse themselves from your office!

* There may be times when you might come upon obstacles. If it’s something you’re unable to overcome right away, take a break from that task and move on to something else.

This is a simple formula that allows you to gain what seems like extra hours each day. Give it a try and see just how much more productive you can be. Avoid wasting unnecessary time.

Pretty soon, you’ll be known as the highest achiever in the office. And you’ll be able to gain that title with just a little organization of your time and tasks.

Glen James Murdoch

Glen Murdoch is the founder and CEO of The Life Coaching College. He has a long history of working with Athletes and Teams as a Performance Coach and Analyst and has developed Australia's number 1 Life Coaching Program - The Advanced Diploma in Coaching.