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Print Posted by SMEA Posted on 08/09/2017 in Productivity\Time Management

Want to be Productive? Stick to your Schedule!

Want to be Productive? Stick to your Schedule!

When you first started out you may not have needed a schedule or task list. Maybe you kept on top of all the things you needed to get done, the meetings you had in your head and never missed a beat. Now though, the busier you have become, the more successful your business, you cannot do without a proper schedule. And you really need to stick to it.

It may seem like a no-brainer, of course you have a schedule, it’s in your calendar. But does it contain all you need to get done in a day and not just meetings? As days become busier, it is extremely difficult to accomplish all you need to get done without distraction. Busy people are not always the most productive people as we discussed in our post Busy, does not mean productive! 

So which are you, productive or just busy?

Your schedule should not only contain meetings, internal and external. The busier you are, the more demands on your time, the more you need to allocate time in your diary to accomplish key tasks. If you don’t, that spare time in your diary is only going to be filled with more meetings, leaving you less and less time to work on the other tasks. The best way to stay on top is to create a schedule and stick to it to avoid disorganisation and use your time effectively. 

Here are some tips.

Choose your platform. Select one location to house your schedule. Put everything in there and ensure it is accessible across all your devices. Do not put some stuff in your work calendar and some in your personal calendar, use the one system to ensure you can get an overview of what you have on for the day in the one place.

Prioritize List out all the things you need to get done and then priortise them. Being able to determine the order in which things need to be done is crucial in sticking to your schedule and effective time management. Look at the tasks and organise in terms of priority.

Allocate time for tasks in your schedule. Once you have a list of your tasks and understand their priorities, allocate time for them in your schedule. Need to prepare a presentation? Make sure you put time in your calendar for that. Need to research new products? Allocate time.

Say NO!  It’s ok to say no. If you cannot take on anything extra and maintain your current workload, let alone give it the time and effort it needs, say no. It’s better to say no upfront then struggle to keep up or do a poor job.

Manage your deadlines. Understand your deadlines and prioritise accordingly. If you are not clear on the deadlines you have then how can you ensure you stick to them. Record them in schedule and give yourself the necessary time to achieve them.

Being productive means accomplishing all the tasks required to achieve your goals. That means sticking to your schedule. Your schedule should include not only what meetings you have on in a day but also the tasks you need to complete. Sometimes things will get pushed, that’s normal. Having a complete schedule will help you effectively manage those situations and understand when things will get done.

The more demands on your time means the harder it is to accomplish everything you need to get done. Keeping organised will help you to keep on top of your busy workload.

The SME Association of Australia provides a comprehensive platform for the collaboration of businesses, organisations, associations, schools, higher education bodies and government to ensure SMEs are equipped to connect, grow and prosper. Find out more at http://www.smea.org.au/. Join our SME Community, follow us on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn and subscribe to our podcast SME Radio

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