You will never have enough time for everything… but you can always manage your time better.
Me, I prefer going through my things to do as much as I can. I like knowing that in each day, I was able to accomplish big and small things. While I know that there are days that are a little more unforgiving than others; the heart of the matter is, I get things done. If I’m not productive, I feel so uncomfortable — that I just wasted so much time and money just by slacking off! I really don’t like that.
I’ve reached a point where I know that work will always be overflowing. This is how I manage my tasks and my time.
Make a list & check it twice
When you’re given an assignment, start by scoping the project. Some people prefer to skip this step and strike the iron while it’s hot BUT I find it most efficient to always scope a project first so the list of tasks are clear. Taking the time to list deliverables will also help you figure out any need for extra time or people. Most importantly, scoping a project and listing down what comes next will help you monitor your progress and adjust any strategies as you go.
After you made your list, it’s important to delegate. If you are working on a collaborative assignment, it would even be more effective to make the list with your colleagues. Oh, you’re a one-man show? Then maybe this is the part where you work hack your way to success: whether that’s asking for quick workarounds, searching for contacts who can connect you with the right people, or delegating a task not to another person but to a different time aka. O V E R T I M E!
Stick to your deadlines
This is very important to make sure that working with your colleagues would be a harmonious and seamless experience. This becomes amplified when working with clients or your boss! I know Murphy’s Law, and that many things can go out of your control BUT deadlines are deadlines. If a project timeline needs adjustment, you must be assertive enough to address this. Request for an extension if possible. Just don’t let your deadline pass by without owning up to it! That shows NOT just your level of immaturity and unprofessionalism; but also your lack of respect towards the people you work with and for.
Don’t waste time doing nonsense
Sure there are hell weeks, but there are also days when your calendar might be lighter than usual. Perfect! You deserve the break! But try not to just sink into an idle hole. During this time, find lighter more productive things to do like sort your files. It might sound mundane but in the grand scheme of things, future busier you will love you for doing yourself a favor.
I don’t understand how some people can sit in an office all day only to go home not having done anything. I think pretending to work is harder work than actually working!
Here are a few of my favorite things to do when there’s nothing to do!
- Organize my inbox (email and phone)
- Curate royalty-free photos and design pegs for future concepts
- Consult bosses for potential projects I can involve myself with
- Check up on team for work status and overall work health
- Read about competitors and relevant projects
Hydrate and refuel
This might sound funny but I put a premium to making sure that my mind is always sharp and energized. I know a lot of people who end up forgetting to eat and all because of a busy day — and while on the surface, this is quite a heroic display of dedication — it’s not healthy. Sometimes even, it leads to more mistakes. So…. always hydrate and refuel. Try your best to be in tip-top shape so your output will always be perfection! NOTE: no, caffeine is not water.