Do you get the most out of your work days?

Be more effective in minutes.

We all want more hours in the day, but if you had them, would you use them effectively? Or would you squeeze an extra episode of Netflix in or perhaps sleep a little longer? Although you can’t get more time, you can get more out of the seconds, minutes and hours of every work week.

Below is a snippet on how to be more effective in under five minutes:

1.    Track controllable metrics in business

There’s no point tracking something you have no control over, even if it impacts profit. For example, if you’re a hairdresser, you can’t control the price of products you need to purchase, even though it influences how much profit you make. Instead, track things you have control over, such as time spent with clients, so you don’t waste time worrying about the unimportant things. If you don’t know where to start, do a quick Google Search for your industry and trackable metrics.

2.    Map out what needs to be done and when

It’s easy to write a to-do list and top it with vague goals, like create a new marketing strategy. It’s also easy to push it back, with no direction or pressing deadline. Compile all your long-term goals and break them down to bite-sized chunks. For example, map out the things that need to be done to create a new marketing strategy, such as determining your market by the end of the week, setting a budget by the end of the month, research an hour per day and so on. Targets and deadlines are more motivating than a vague to-do list.

3.    Plan and reflect

Keep a notepad next to your bed, and before you get some shuteye, write down everything you want to achieve the next day. The following night write down everything you have accomplished and repeat. It’s a simple, yet effective, strategy to acknowledge your efforts, while also unscrambling your brain to focus on finishing a task. It might feel unnatural at first, but eventually, it will become part of your routine.

4.    Set Micro Habits for yourself

Although it sounds like another buzzword, micro-habits are achievable and leave you with a sense of satisfaction in just a few minutes. For example, if you want to continue to learn about business, schedule five to 10 minutes a day to listen to a related podcast or read a blog post. Instead of signing up to a time-consuming course, or trying to get through a book, you’re achieving your overarching goal in minutes.

5.    Stop multitasking

According to researchers, multitasking is bad for your brain and can reduce productivity by 40 percent. Hide your phone to stop distractions, close all those browser tabs to prevent switching between tasks, put in headphones (they don’t have to be working) to reduce interruptions, and disable notifications for messaging services and emails when working on a project. By focusing on one thing only, you’ll be less scatterbrained and use your time more effectively.