Do you ever feel as if you never have enough time in your day? Are you always busy but never meet your deadlines? Do you get to the end of the week with a backlog because you can’t execute tasks quickly and effectively? Are you constantly stressed due to incomplete work?
You wonder: How do some people achieve so much when we all have 24 hours a day? They seem focused and on top of their game at work despite having kids and personal responsibilities. The truth? These people aren’t special.
They’re not smarter or less overwhelmed by life’s obligations than you. They’ve just formed winning habits to maximize their productivity and manage stress. As such, they are successful and lead amazing lives because they have more free time to spend with loved ones.
If you want to start crushing it at work and still have time for family, exercise, and fun, these sure-fire ways can help you do just that. They can make you a winner in your career and personal life.
Become an Excellent Planner.
“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”
― Brian Tracy,
Planning not only helps you to become more productive, but it can also increase your happiness. In an article from Time Magazine, psychologist Robert Epstein says that 25% of our happiness is attached to our ability to manage stress.
According to Epstein, the best way to find happiness is to reduce stress. “Fighting stress before it even starts, planning things rather than letting them happen. That means planning your day, your year, and your life so that stress is minimized,” says Epstein.
The best way to do this is to draft a to-do list with your personal and work-related tasks. When you know what’s most important, you can be more deliberate about the tasks you take up. Unfortunately, most people prioritize work engagements over personal ones. And yet, you can’t have a balanced life if one aspect of your life is neglected.
I like to free up my weekends to do fun stuff. So on Friday afternoons, I scribble down what needs to be done. I plug in some music and start vacuuming the house. In about two hours, I usually get the vacuuming, laundry, and bed linens changed.
To increase productivity, you must increase your output or cut down the time it takes to accomplish a goal. To do this, you need to plan your days. When you’re not stressed, you can get more work done.
Do the Right Things.
“Don’t measure your productivity by the hours, but by the results”― Bernard Kelvin Clive
Productive people concentrate on doing the right things in the right timeframe. They focus on getting results. Unfortunately, most people pay attention to the small details of a project that don’t matter in the long term.
To avoid this, WikiJob UK suggests considering the bigger picture to be more result-oriented. Reminding yourself regularly about what you are working towards, as opposed to what you are working on, will allow you to achieve better results overall. Set yourself time-specific goals when working on a new project — and make sure you stick to them.
Productive people don’t overanalyze and scrutinize every angle of their work, chasing after perfection. They put in their best and then move to the next project. Winston Churchill rightfully said;
“Perfection is the enemy of progress.”
I’ve found this to be true in my writing journey. As a non-native English speaker, it’s impossible to get to a point where I feel as if my writing is good enough. Of late, I’m focusing on providing value for my readers rather than obsess about my grammar. It has helped me write consistently and increase my readership.
To be efficient and productive, focus on results above all else. When you’re clear about your expected outcome, you can concentrate better. It’s not the process but the results that move the needle. Aim for done rather than perfect.
Learn to Delegate.
“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.” ― john c. maxwell
Trying to do it all by yourself only leads to burnout. You have to find a way to ease the pressure by delegating responsibilities that don’t require you to be hands-on. If you want to be effective, identify your strong areas and those you need help with.
Learning to delegate is a win-win. It helps you to be more efficient, less stressed and helps others develop their skills. According to Corporate Finance Institute, delegating benefits you in many ways, namely:
- You have more time and ability to concentrate on higher-level tasks
- Your productivity, efficiency improves.
- You can manage your time better.
- You empower others to learn and develop new skills.
- You build trust with others.
Becky, a mother of three, runs a consultancy firm alongside her side gig. In addition to her parenting duties, she’s pursuing a master’s degree. I once asked her how she pulls it off so effortlessly, she says, “I don’t do it alone. Having my mom around helps me find balance.”
If you’re swamped continuously, ask for help, starting with your spouse. Alternatively, request your parents or extended family to step in. If that doesn’t work, turn to your neighbors. Likewise, extend your support when needed.
You deserve to find satisfaction in your work and enjoy a meaningful life with loved ones. But this can only happen when you learn how to be productive. Start by organizing and prioritizing your tasks. Determine the tasks that give you results and delegate low-leverage activities.
By developing these habits, you can be efficient, productive, and stress-free. That’s what winning in life looks like. By this time next year, your life could be totally different from what it is now. You might be one of those highly productive and successful people whom you greatly admire.