Agency-life can be a whirlwind. With client requests, impromptu projects, and ever-looming deadlines, simply retaining your sanity can be tough. But all hope is not lost.
While it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day, you might just need to shift your view. Evaluate your time management and redefine what you are truly capable of accomplishing in any given hour.
Leverage the techniques outlined below to make the most of your workday and achieve greater efficiencies.
1. Get Laser-focused on the Task in Front of You: Avoid Daily Distractions
A new notification pops up in your email inbox, your coffee cup is empty, your stomach grumbles “I’m hungry!” or a mobile notification that an old friend just wrote on your Facebook wall flashes across the screen. These are just some of the ways life tries to distract you.
Distractions are everywhere, but don’t multi-task or give in to Internet time-suck temptations.
It takes the typical office worker 25 minutes to return to a task after an interruption. Do your best to eliminate distractions by:
- Shutting down email.
- Turning off notifications.
- Putting your phone in your bag or hiding it away from your desk.
- Scheduling meetings with yourself on your calendar so no one interrupts.
2. Start a Competition with the Clock
Make working toward greater efficiency a game! See just how fast you can work to turn around a high-quality client deliverable.
Keep track of the time it takes you to complete certain client tasks (i.e. strategy documents, content, brochure design, etc.), and continually work to beat your own records.
Time Management Ninja (@tmninja) recommends setting a timer and keeping a productivity journal to help you map out where your time is going each day.
Need help keeping track of the clock? Consider job management solutions with timers and timesheet reports, or check out the app 30/30:
- 30/30: Set up a list of tasks and the length of time you want to give to each. Start your timer and the app will let you know when you need to move to the next task on your list.
3. Set Up Tomorrow’s Success: Regroup at the End of Each Day
Regroup at the end of the day to hit the ground running the next morning. The Organizing Agency (@TheOrgAgency) recommends taking the last 15 minutes of your day to plan how you’ll spend your tomorrow.
As you plot out the next day’s task list, keep the following in mind:
- Note what worked today and where you may need to adjust. Consider: Will a few tasks intended for completion today need to spill over into tomorrow?
- Include buffer time. Agency life comes with curveballs, so don’t pack your day full from start to finish. Consider: Am I prepared should I get hit with an unanticipated task?
- Keep critical deadlines and your most pressing projects in mind as you plot out your next day’s ideal scenario. Consider: How can I make the best use of time to work toward my top goals?
What More Could You Do During Your Work Day?
Think about how much more you could get done with another hour each day? Or even two? Use the tips described above to maximize your efficiency.
How do you stay on task during the workday? Share your own tips in the comment section below.
Image Source: Sean MacEntee under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic