Discover how you can enjoy getting things done efficiently with four simple steps

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Your time may be impacted by external factors imposed by other people and things. You can decrease or eliminate time spent in these activities by implementing some simple tips listed below. You lose time when switching from one task to another, resulting in a loss of productivity.

The 4 Best Productivity Systems in the World

Recent psychological studies have shown that multi-tasking does not actually save time. In fact, the opposite is often true. You lose time when switching from one task to another, resulting in a loss of productivity Rubinsteim, Meyer, and Evans, Routine multi-tasking may lead to difficulty in concentrating and maintaining focus when needed. The care and attention you give yourself is an important investment of time. Scheduling time to relax, or do nothing, can help you rejuvenate both physically and mentally, enabling you to accomplish tasks more quickly and easily. Learn to manage time according to your biological clock by scheduling priority tasks during your peak time of day, the time your energy level and concentration are at their best.

Poor time management can result in fatigue, moodiness, and more frequent illness. To reduce stress, you should reward yourself for a time management success. Take time to recognize that you have accomplished a major task or challenge before moving on to the next activity. Regardless of the time management strategies you use, you should take time to evaluate how they have worked for you. Ask yourself a few simple questions: Do you have a healthy balance between work and home life? Are you accomplishing the tasks that are most important in your life? Are you investing enough time in your own personal wellbeing?

If the answer is "no" to any of these questions, then reconsider your time management strategies and select ones that work better for you. Remember that successful time management today can result in greater personal happiness, greater accomplishments at home and at work, increased productivity, and a more satisfying future.

For more information about time management and other related topics, contact your local county extension office at ASKUGA1.

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Covey, S. Dodd, P. Rubinsteim, J. Executive control of cognitive processes in task switching. Classes, Workshops, and Club Meetings UGA Extension offers a wealth of personalized services like workshops, classes, consultation, certifications, camps, and educator resources. Find out what Extension has for you! Extension Changes Georgia University of Georgia Cooperative Extension programming improves people's lives and gets results.

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Extension Publications Circular Circular Faculty Sue W. Have a question? Contact your local UGA Extension office to find out how our team of county agents can assist you. Perfect for people who: Love the concreteness of pen and paper to-do lists, but have too much to keep track of to rely only on pen and paper. Perfect for people who: Like graphs, have trouble seeing things in black-and-white, and would rather prioritize on a continuum than stuff tasks into a few categories.

Perfect for people who: Are goal-oriented and are tackling complex projects and need to keep to a timeline. Image credit to lifehacker. Personal Kanban is an incredibly simple system. And that can be a good thing. Sometimes all you need to make progress is a way to see the status of your projects laid out simply in front of you.

You get a constant, physical reminder when you need to concentrate on finishing your current projects before starting new ones.

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Getting Things Done® - David Allen's GTD® Methodology

In addition, having all your work laid out in front of you helps you feel calm and in control of the big picture. Image credit to hellostripes. Perfect for people who: Tend to put off important items, resulting in missed deadlines or rushed work. What it does: Helps to avoid procrastination while ensuring that you make progress on the right things.

A lot of productivity systems and tools are all about getting started. But in reality, it can make a big difference which task you pick first. And, worse, you may find yourself missing deadlines or hurting your reputation by rushing through your most challenging work.

To get started, schedule your daily tasks from hardest to easiest.

Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Time Effectively and Getting Things Done

A huge part of learning to be truly productive is accepting that the impulse to procrastinate is inevitable. Learning to work around your own self-destructive impulses is key. Everyone procrastinates. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on. Image credit fabiocruz. Perfect for people who: Need to prioritize tasks, but tend to go for lists over graphs. Write down everything you have to do and then identify each as a Must, a Should, or a Want. Your Must tasks are non-negotiable. Answering certain emails may be a Should.

It can be put off for the future, if need be. Moscow Method. What it does: Turns big, abstract ideas and goals into concrete, actionable plans. There have been many adaptations and adjustments to the SMART productivity method since it was introduced three decades ago. At its core, SMART is a way to take a big, pie-in-the-sky idea and figure out how to make it work in the real world by asking yourself a series of questions.

Meaning the What — what is this project and what, specifically, do you want to accomplish? Who is going to do which step? If you have small children, you might use this step to think through childcare options. Every large undertaking requires some help along the way. It encompasses all obstacles in your way, everything that could threaten your project.

Part 1: Understand where your time is going

By carefully considering the challenges ahead, you can start mulling over solutions before they even get a chance to trip you up. Deadlines are an important part of nearly every successful productivity strategy, and with good reason. Time constraints force us to be efficient. This is a great system for anyone who is overwhelmed with the sheer size of their current project and needs a plan to move forward.

Use S. The Action Method was developed in by Behance as a way of simplifying creative meetings. The problem with brainstorming and most creative work is that it often needs to be messy to be truly innovative. Thinking outside the box requires untidiness, but actually getting things done requires an orderly system. The Action Method allows you to welcome and integrate great, off-beat ideas while still coming away with a concrete plan.

Though there was an online version of this method for a time, Behance pulled support for it last year.

Book Summary: “Getting Things Done”, David Allen

Perfect for people who: Find small tasks and interruptions are taking over the whole day. What it does: Holds you accountable to your daily plan by allocating specific periods of time for specific types of work. If you find yourself spending too much of your day dealing with little items that only reappear the next day like emails and too little time tackling the big stuff, this method is for you. To start timeboxing, just split up your day into blocks of time with specific tasks assigned to each one.

There are number of different approaches to timeboxing, along with a variety of task-specific timeboxing methods like Inbox Zero for tackling your email. This a great way to keep yourself accountable and prevent the minutia from overtaking your whole day. An additional timeboxing method is called day-theming. Instead of switching between different types of work or areas of responsibility throughout the day, you dedicate each day of the week to a specific theme.

Timeboxing What, Why and How. What it does: Tracks your biological rhythms to find the best times for different kinds of productivity.


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This is a delightfully nerdy method. Time and activity tracking software like Rescue Time and Toggl can be a big help here. You can even turn the data into graphs. Do you have less motivation on the days when you skip breakfast? Start keeping energy bars or fruit and yogurt on hand for a bit of quick energy.

1. Focus on most important tasks (MITs) first

Is your most productive hour around 10am? Schedule your most important tasks for that time and push meetings off for later in the day. The sheer amount of information that you can gather about yourself by doing this little take-home version of a scientific study will astound you. How to calculate your Biological Prime Time.

How to use Rescue Time to get magnitudes more down every week.

Perfect for people who: Have a lot of loose ends rattling around in the brain and need a way organize it all.