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Productivity boosters

If you find you never have time for yourself, check out these tips on how to be even more productive so you can carve out a moment or two for yourself.

Woman working

Feel like you’re always drowning under a pile of paperwork and a never-ending to-do list, all to the tune of your BlackBerry buzzing every few seconds with new emails? You’re not alone. We’re all busy, but some of us manage to be more productive than others. Here are some secrets to getting more done so you can carve out more you time.

Prioritize your to-do list

Having one long to-do list can be overwhelming, so much so that you may feel you won’t ever dig yourself out. Feeling this way, you may not work as efficiently as you could, because you think you’ll never successfully complete it all. This is why it’s important to set priorities to your to-do list on a regular basis. Assign tasks to one of three categories: the things that must get done, the things that’d be nice to get done and the items that are of less importance and that can take the lowest priority. Assign a time frame as well: For example, start your day by establishing what you plan to tackle that day.

Plan for your difficult tasks

If you don’t schedule a time to tackle the to-dos you find difficult, you may find you’ll procrastinate and then procrastinate even more, until those tasks remain on your list for what seems like forever. To help you not put them off, schedule a set time on your calendar to work on them, and ideally make it a time when you are at your most effective. Don’t choose mid-afternoon when you know you usually hit your slump, but rather right after your lunch, as you know you often feel refreshed when you return from your regular lunch-break walk.

Define specific tasks so the project seems manageable

If your to-do list consists of “write novel,” it’s no wonder you haven’t managed to get much of it done, as that’s a huge task with a slew of elements. To not feel stressed and pressured, make sure your list of tasks is broken into manageable components, such as “write an outline for the first chapter,” “bounce ideas off editor” and “research the story setting.”

More on work/life balance

Quit being a workaholic
How to make working from home work for you
Keeping your work and home life separate

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