Everyone, from Jeff Bezos to the janitor mopping the warehouse floor, has the same 24 hours in a day. Why is it, then, that some people accomplish great deeds like finishing a novel or designing and launching a new mobile app (and even enjoy a nice vacation after doing so) while others find they simply can’t finish everything in eight short working hours?
One reason some people accomplish much more than others is they’ve mastered the art of identifying and focusing on their most important task.
Depending upon a person’s work position and life goals, their most important task of the day may include everything from wrapping up an important presentation to drafting a new design for a proposed product. Whatever successful people identify their most important task to be, they waste no time with details like checking emails before lighting a fire under their bum and tackling it.
Here’s how you can become more efficient in your own life by focusing on your most important tasks.
Identify Your True Goals and Prioritize the Day Before
In order to know what your most important task is, you must first identify what you hope to achieve. If your goal is to wow your boss in the workplace, take the time to speak with them to identify things you can do to raise your value.
Working on a personal goal like developing an informational website about a subject you’re passionate about, such as awareness of a rare disease? Set up a reasonable weekly timetable for tackling the project, perhaps setting a daily goal for content production. Make sure your goal is measurable and also achievable — Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are the most useful sites.
Before leaving the office or shutting down the computer for the day, identify the most important task you have to do the next day. Put this item at the top of your to-do list. When you begin work in the morning, tackling this task first is the most time efficient. Set specific times of the day for taking care of minor details such as checking email, and silence instant messaging technology if possible when engaged in work that requires concentration.
Delegate Certain Tasks to Improve Focus
One writer who earns a respectable income describes a surprising secret to her success: she hired a housekeeping service. Prior to doing so, she found her concentration interrupted with thoughts of needing to vacuum up the cat hair or mop the kitchen floor.
Not every client needs a personalized email reply from you if a subordinate can manage the matter. Delegating distracting tasks frees you from the threat of them destroying your time efficiency so you can focus on what you do best.
Take Mini Reward Breaks and Get More Rest Overall
Even the most productive individuals have limited focus and concentration ability. And rewarding yourself for a job well done need not take much time. It can also ease the transition between one task and the next.
Go ahead — stand up and stretch or take a quick, brisk walk around the office after finishing one task before moving on to the next. People who get their blood flowing regularly enjoy better brain power, too.
Tackling your most important task proves much easier when you’ve gotten a good nights’ sleep. Take 15-30 minutes to wind down each evening by turning off all electronics and doing some gentle stretching or sipping some chamomile tea.
Also, take a vacation now and then! Many Americans let their vacation days go to waste, but doing so makes them less, not more, productive while on the clock. Everyone needs time to recharge their batteries now and then.
Become Time Efficient Today
Focusing on your most important task each working day will help you reach your goals in a more time-efficient matter. Delegating tasks you need not handle personally and taking time for self-care likewise boosts productivity in work and life. Here’s to greater success by focusing on what really matters!
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