Blog: Working From Home
Want to Be More Productive During Your Workday?
Most of us have a variety of miscellaneous tasks that keep us occupied during the work day. When there's nothing urgent, it's easy to do a little here, a little there, a little now, a little later, and not accomplish very much. However, when a major project deadline looms, we work like demons on nothing else until our eyes glaze over and we drag ourselves to the finish line not having done our best work! Does this sound like you?
Dabbling at random tasks throughout the day significantly reduces your effectiveness at all of them. Every time you switch gears you need time to get yourself up and running again. Think about changing your approach by "batching" your work. Research shows you can increase productivity dramatically by getting into the rhythm of a particular type of work and staying with it for 45 to 60 minutes at a stretch.
Organize your work so that you do similar tasks together. In general, you'll get more done in less time. However, when you work this way you do need a place to keep tasks until it's their turn to be worked on. Get yourself a desktop organizer that will keep waiting folders at hand while you attend to the work you're doing at the moment. Choose something that will keep your folders standing upright, rather than laying flat as they do in an in-box. Otherwise, they may end up covered up by something else and be forgotten.
Using the "batch" approach, if you need to enter information on new contacts you just met at a networking event, or to update your customer records, you will drop the information in a "Data Entry" folder until you're ready to spend some time at the computer. Notes about calls you need to make, or calls you are expecting from others, will wait in a "Phone Calls" folder. Save them up and make all of them together. As other tasks occur to you throughout the day, you can add new items.
You can even fit long-range projects into this scheme by dividing them into smaller steps that will take about an hour each. Managing them in this way will keep them moving ahead without wearing you out. When you've completed your hour's worth of work, you can put the project aside without guilt. Take a break. Walk around for a bit and come back refreshed and ready to tackle the next batch of work.
When you organize your work using this technique, you will find you are not only more productive, but you will probably do better quality work, too!
posted on: 8/30/2010 12:07:07 AM by Elaine Quinn, Author & Speaker
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Working From Home
by Elaine Quinn, Author & Speaker
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Elaine Quinn is an internationally recognized expert on organizing, time management and productivity for the work-from-home solo professional. She is the author of "There's No Place Like Working From Home," filled with tips for solopreneurs who want to get organized, stay motivated and get things done. Learn more at www.NoPlaceLikeWorkingFromHome.com.
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- "There's No Place Like Working From Home"
As the author, naturally this book is one of my favorites!