3 Steps to Becoming a Deadline Ninja
Mid-January is the time when our New Year's resolutions are really put to the test. The initial glow of a new year is a little less bright once the third week of January rears its head and our commitment to being better at life becomes a little less strong. That's why it's the perfect time to review the best productivity hacks available. If procrastination is starting to eclipse your focus, scroll through and read how to slay every deadline that lands on your Google calendar.
Step 1: Eliminate distractions. A recent study showed that Americans check social media 17 times per day on average. What's worse? When you're involved in a detail-oriented task, every time you glance at your social media or a distracting website it takes 20 minutes to regain your focus. Try eliminating distractions such as social media apps on your phone, bills, and magazines on your desk, and time-sucking websites that don't help your productivity. Apps like Anti-Social and Cold Turkey target your digital distractions and take care of the will power factor for you. All you have to do is work. Everything else goes away.
Step 2: Stop lying to yourself about time management. Sure, you may promise that your blog post will be published in an hour but the likelihood of this actually happening, as you know from experience, is slim to none. A strong post on average takes you about three hours to complete. Try to be realistic about each part of your to-do list and you will see a major rise in the success rate of your deadlines, even if they are just self-imposed. If you want to track how long your regular tasks take you, use Toggl.
Step 3: Make sure you're in compliance with the 80/20 rule. You may be familiar with the saying that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your work. In order to make sure you are spending your valuable time doing the most effective things for your company, track your analytics. If you get most of your referral traffic from Instagram but spend a majority of your day on a newsletter, rethink your schedule. It's important to not only complete a project, but also to track the impact of that project on the success of your business. If something is draining your time but lagging in producing positive impacts, cut it from your to-do list. Time really is your most precious asset.
To read more about conquering any and all deadlines, visit Elle.
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What's your number one productivity hack? Share with us in the comments.