Are you easily distracted by e-mails from customers, a WhatsApp message from a friend or a phone call from a colleague? Do you often have a crowded agenda and a long to-do list, and do you sometimes lose the overview? Spot is here to help! In this article we share three helpful tips to work more efficiently and more structured. Let’s get to work!
Tip 1: Pomodoro technique
Francesco Corillo is an expert in time management and organizational productivity. In the 1980s, he devised the Pomodoro Technique: a method to work more effectively and to become less easily distracted.
This is how it works:
- First, you make an activity inventory. In this inventory, you write down everything that needs to be done today.
- Make a to-do list based on that inventory. You call these tasks 'pomodoros' and put them in order of priority.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and complete the first task. Note: try not to get distracted during your work. Close your email app and put your phone aside for a better focus.
Tip! Download the Focus Keeper from the app store.
- Check off the task and take a short break of three to five minutes. This is the time your brain needs to reset. Go to the toilet or make coffee before you start the next pomodoro.
- You do this for 2 hours, in that time you will have completed four pomodoros. Then you take a longer break, from 15 to 30 minutes. Take that time! Go for a walk, make yourself a sandwich or chat with colleagues.
Be distracted as little as possible during the pomodoros. Does it suddenly cross your mind that you still have to call the hairdresser, or that you forgot to get bread? Write down these thoughts so you can park them safely.
Do you know why this technique is called the pomodoro technique? Take a guess, and drop your answer in the comments!
Tip 2: Swallow the frog
It's simple: first, make a to-do list in the morning, in order of priority. Give the most important tasks an A label, the slightly less important tasks a B label, and so on. Then choose an A-task you dread the most, the 'frog', and complete it first.
According to creator Brian Tracy, it's very satisfying to start the day with a tough task. Like this, the rest of your day will be filled with more fun to do's!
Tip 3: set work goals
Do not only make a to do list, but also draw up an overview with work goals. Preferably do this on Monday, for the whole week. Set these goals using the SMART method: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Make your goal concrete, ensure that you can measure it, that it is acceptable and achievable, and that there is a deadline. 'The project proposal must reach customer X by Tuesday at the latest', 'I must have called my manager by Thursday to ask about the quotation for customer Y' and 'Respond to my colleague's complicated e-mail by Friday the latest.'
In the book "Tijdwinst - Elke dag om 15.00 uur klaar", Björn Deusings argues for a 6-hour working day. He teaches you to organize better, plan more realistically and deal smarter with complex tasks. This ensures less pressure, more productivity and more peace of mind.
Rick Pastoor worked for Blendle for years and developed the GRIP method. In his book, also called GRIP, he shows how you can organize your working week differently to create more peace and space. How do you keep track of things when you have an endless to-do list? It helps you to work more efficiently and effectively.