Everyone has 24 hours each day. Why, then, do some people manage to perform more efficiently than others?
In her latest book, Burnout, senior psychologist and business leader Anju Jain, who has previously authored Step Up: How Women Can Perform Better for Success, shares pillars of working smart that efficient workers leverage and keep burnout at bay.
1. Write your to-do list
Old-fashioned as it may be, the to-do list can be a lifesaver. It gives you a complete glimpse of what needs to be done and helps you script your day in advance. List out the emails you need to send, calls you have to make, who you have to meet, presentations that require work, errands to be run, etc. Then, prioritize and mark the critical ones out. Make sure you have your list handy and visible.
2. Plan your day according to your energy levels
Our productivity depends on our unique chronotype or internal clock. One that impacts what time of the day we are most focused, creative, in a good mood, or likely to make mistakes. Figure out your peak hours and build tasks onto your schedule accordingly.
3. Work the calendar
Once a week, assess which meetings are critical and which ones can be delegated or declined. Integrate your personal commitments into the calendar - vacations, kid's activities, etc. Block out time for quiet, critical work that needs to be done without interruption.
4. Email at planned hours
Remove notification alerts so your inbox does not call you. Technology is for your convenience, not the other way round. Once you opened an email, act on it the first time, and keep your emails to the point. Most importantly, to avoid stress, don't read emails first thing in the morning or while heading to bed at night.
5. Say no
Burnout tends to hit the best employees and those who promptly accept additional responsibilities. Practice filtering demands and saying no to those that don't align with your goals.
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