There are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes, it feels like there simply aren’t enough to accomplish everything that needs to get done. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do in your professional life to better organize your time and keep from feeling completely overwhelmed.
In a recent Black Enterprise post titled “3 Ways to Be Ultra-Productive Every Day,” consultant, writer, and WordSmithRapport founder Karima Mariama-Arthur shares a handful of excellent tips for maximizing efficiency in the workplace. Her first one is to “plan in advance” and set aside the few minutes it takes to regularly create to-do lists. It can be as simple, she says, as blocking out 20 minutes on Friday afternoons — when work tends to slow down — to think about the week ahead. It’s a great way to avoid what she calls the “oops syndrome,” or the tendency to get bogged down and let tiny tasks slip through the cracks.
“Don’t overbook,” she warns. “You want to make sure that you actually accomplish what you set out to do.”
For tip No. 2, Mariama-Arthur gets blunt: “Cut the crap.” In our day-to-day lives, there’s no shortage of distractions competing for our attention, and things like social media and long chats with coworkers can quickly suck up minutes and hours that ought to be used for other things. The key here: Stop making excuses, show a little discipline, and get down to business. Facebook will still be there when you get home.
Lastly, Mariama-Arthur suggests everyone “check-in and assess progress.” This, she says, is a crucial part of achieving goals, since work projects often change over time. There could be unexpected hiccups, or you might find yourself in need of outside help. If you stay on top of things, you’ll be way more likely to avoid putting them on the back-burner or neglecting them altogether. “A cool tweak,” she says, “may be just what the doctor ordered — an effective ‘jimmy’ that can otherwise save the goal from the proverbial graveyard.”