Postdate: 20 July 2016
Time pressure is something we all know. In the end, it leads to nothing: it only causes stress, with all the consequences it gives. A clear and feasible goal does not just give you perspective, but it also creates rest and more motivation in the long term. With a few simple tips, you can get more energy and space in your head, which will improve your productivity at work.
Before you start doing this, it is good to determine where the problem lies. When you keep an activity diary for at least a week, you will get a better insight into the things you spend a lot of time on. This includes reading and answering emails, small talk with colleagues, and phone calls. When you have this overview, you start underlining: where do you see possibilities to save time right away? After this, you look at the results you want to achieve.
Specific: how concrete is it?
Measurable: how do you know when you have reached your goal?
Attainable: is it a sensible goal?
Realistic: is it feasible?
Timely: what is the time frame for your goal?
'Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days'
This can often be done plain and simple. A SMART goal is mainly positive and described in the present tense, meaning that you can start working on it right away. Besides creating structure in your everyday life, it is also important to create order in your mind. As soon as you get the feeling that you don't have enough time, stop a moment to take back control. A short list with a top 3 of priorities can help you with this. What should you be worrying about and what not?
The most important step is to turn your goals and priorities into a day or week planning. You should plan some extra time for unexpected tasks, answering emails, and for taking a break every now and then. Useless time is also well spent; you can't burn the candle at both ends. By giving yourself some sort of reward after a period of strong focus or hard work, you will have enough energy again to go on. This makes you more productive during working hours.