We are in December and you should not have stopped yet to reflect on your year’s successes and failures. The first step is not to expect motivation to start a project or a new task. 2015 will begin regardless of whether you are ready or not. But that’s no reason to worry. We give you a hand! Here are six bad habits that you must have kept this year and that could threaten your task manager:
1. Making thousand things at once
Believe me, it is more advantageous to make regular breaks each block of time dedicated to a single task than spend hours alternating between various. Being more productive does not mean working more, however, it means having more time for leisure – after completed your work. By working a little bit on each one in the same time, you can take all day without concluding any. Instead, work for 30 minutes and rest for 5 – always a task at a time. This scheme strengthens your reasoning. A “trick” to make you feel more productive is to solve several small tasks that take less than 3 minutes, like a call or an email. And what is urgent but not important, just delegate.
2. Taking too long with emails
You are in the most powerful hour of your day when you come to work. Our tip is that, as Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, and Robert Iger, Disney’s CEO, you use some of that energy to deal with your emails. By solving and delegating tasks to your team, you feel better to start the hard work. Hot tip: If your company has the bad habit to copy email to several people who do not necessarily have to do with the task, know that leaders are actually meant to focus the accountability and the dialogue between those who matter.
3. Having too much urgent tasks
If many tasks seem urgent, you need to review your planning. When you follow a priority order, accomplishing important tasks first, you avoid the urgent ones to multiply. That’s why it’s so important to plan, to foresee obstacles that may delay the tasks. Be aware to not waste time on what is neither urgent nor important. You may wonder why you would waste time with that, but mobile and social networks are the most counterproductive distractions. Rest breaks shall exist, but with a specific duration, as I suggested on item 1.
4. Not to make a plan of the day
In 2015, transform into routine to plan your day and your week. Make a list of tasks for each day of the week. You will order them by priority and set an estimated time for each one. Later in the day, make a review. Imitate this post and have a not-to-do list. Steve Jobs, for example, said that Apple became Apple thanks to projects he decided to ignore. Other great geniuses such as Thomas Edison and Stephen King, have adopted a routine to work better. According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, the frequency decreases insecurity and locks, making it easier to get the job done. Also, when you repeat a habit, you feel the need to innovate. Inevitably, your productivity should increase.
5. To be disorganized
It is important to have a time to start and to complete the tasks, even if you work remotely. You can get organized using sticky notes to tasks and calendar (paper, e-mail or phone) for appointments. There is no worse than be late to a meeting! Thus, you become aware of what is task and what is appointment. Talking about awareness, are you satisfied with the amount of scattered folders on your computer? Have a criterion to facilitate the search for files – if the customer calls or someone on the team need to access them. Now, about your desk, it does not need to be empty, but make sure that your things do not invade the others’.
6. Not to use a task manager
2015 can be a much better year than 2014 if you think about the work of your team as much as think of yours. However, that does not mean more work or working for them. The idea is that you can have an online task manager, knowing what your team is working on and when the projects will be delivered. If that’s what you need to hit the targets in 2015, try Runrun.it. The task manager software that can give you an extra day in the week, thanks to the increased productivity. Try it for free: http://runrun.it