6 Tips for Better Productivity

It’s not always easy coming to grips with the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. We keep trying to squeeze more out of what we have, but sometimes in this era of distraction, we wind up being less productive, rather than more.

At Baillie, we put effective time management at the top of our priority list. This commitment to making the most of the time we have has helped our sawmill managers be more productive, our lumber traders more efficient, and our customer service representatives even more responsive to the needs of our customers. DSC5243

Here are some ways we have found effective in managing your time, as opposed to being managed by it:

  1. Become more efficient at prioritizing. 

We all say we have our priorities in order but acting on that belief is sometimes difficult. Entrepreneur and speaker Sean Hopwood suggests spending “about 20% of your time in productive conversations, activities and thoughts.” Focusing on “the most important things to do gives you more time for other activities.”

  1. Maximize your most productive time of day.

You know best when you’re most creative and productive, and under what conditions. Leverage this information about yourself to get the most done during those times. Instead of wasting energy on emails, phone calls, and other distractions, “rearrange your daily schedule to leave that most productive time of day open for your creativity to flourish.”

  1. Explore time-management app options. 

Yes, there’s an app for time-management—many, in fact. These apps can assist with scheduling, prioritization, reminders, and tracking the amount of time you spend on any given project or activity. Do some research and find the app or apps that are most suitable to your schedule.

  1. Work on your delegating skills. 

Business leaders who find themselves pressed for time might look for new opportunities to delegate tasks they really don’t need to focus on. Whether it’s assigning a task or project to a member of the executive team, recruiting a talented employee to take on the challenge, or outsourcing to a qualified contractor, delegation works.

When you “pinpoint those things you procrastinate on because you simply don’t like doing them, you can figure out whether someone else is better equipped to take them on,” notes Business.com.

  1. Plan your day.

A common time-management error lies in a failure to prepare for spending the precious, finite amount of time you have every day. Trying to “plan spontaneously” as the day proceeds probably achieves less rather than more, and in its own way can become a time-consuming distraction.

Plot out the next day’s schedule at the end of a workday. Planning ahead of time takes into account the most urgent tasks to attend to, as well as other logistics centered around staff meetings, phone conversations, etc.

  1. Acknowledge the importance of work/life balance.

Failing to rigorously plan out your personal life (to a reasonable degree) is another time-management trap. Personal to-do items may focus on important errands, family-related meetings and activities or simply wanting to spend more time with your family and friends. These critically important elements of a proper work/life balance are often the first to get cast aside, due to that familiar refrain, “I just don’t have the time!” Don’t let those you care for get lost in the shuffle.

Yes, time is limited. Yes, there are a million things to do. But by prioritizing and spending your time wisely, life may become both more enjoyable and productive. After that, anything is possible.

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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