When I poll the Keep Chasing the Stars community about issues they’re currently struggling with, overwhelmingly the answer is lack of time. I get it. There is no shortage of people, ideas or things constantly fighting for our attention.
Without a plan in place guiding the use of your time (aka a schedule), it’s ridiculously easy to get off track or invest in work that doesn’t help you get stuff done. In this episode, I’m sharing 5 ways to master your schedule and maximize your productivity.
Use the Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix helps you to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. This is a great way to sort and organize the tasks on your to-do list.
The matrix consists of 4 quadrants:
- Important and Urgent (Do First)
- Important but Not Urgent (Schedule)
- Not important and Urgent (Delegate)
- Not Important and Not Urgent (Don’t Do)
You want to work from quadrants 1 and 2.
Most Important Task Method
Now that you have your prioritized task list, you should use it to schedule your most important work first. It’s that simple. Determine the top 1- 3 tasks that are absolutely essential and focus on getting those things done. By focusing relentlessly on your most important tasks, you’ll make sure every day is productive.
Time blocking is organizing your day in a series of time slots.
I mention the Pomodoro Technique quite a bit because it’s so simple to follow and a really genius concept. In a nutshell, the Pomodoro technique is working in short, focused bursts followed by a break.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Choose a single task.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work only on that task the entire time.
- Take a 5 minute break. Then start again.
- After every 4 Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break of 15- 30 minutes.
Cut the distractions
Distractions are dream killers. If you want to master your schedule, you need to make the most of the time you’ve allotted to getting your work done which means you need to be ruthless about eliminating distractions.
A few quick ways that you can do that effectively:
- Turn off all notifications (You can use Do Not Disturb on both your phone and computer if you’re on IOS)
- Place your phone out of reach during your working hours
- Use an internet blocker to curtail temptation when you’re on the web (Freedom or Self Control)
- Block the newsfeed on Facebook (Use this Chrome extension)
- Pause your inbox in Gmail and Outlook
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