THERE ARE TIMES when we seem to be so busy that we don’t have time for anything, when in essence, we aren’t actually doing anything.  When you want to be productive and make the hours count, you can do the following: get up earlier, remove the distractions, get mobile, stop making to-do lists, say ‘no’ more often, own your schedule, and stop wasting time online, among others.  These are just a few of the ways that a person can get more done in less time.

Get up early – It has been said that getting up early makes one healthy and wise—I believe this is true.  The early hours are usually quiet and one is alert and ready to tackle anything.  The distractions are also less at that time so if you adjust to starting your day earlier, a lot can be accomplished.

Remove distractions – We tend to become distracted by small things like the phone ringing, a cluttered work desk, a noisy work room, and others.  When all of the above are removed, you are able to work faster and the work done is usually top-notch, without clumsy mistakes.

Get mobile – No, this doesn’t mean that you should walk around your office for no reason; it means that you should get a portable device that allows work to be done anywhere.  The device could be a laptop, a tablet, or a smart phone that has Internet capability. The greatest productivity item that I’ve ever bought myself is a simple Bluetooth earbud. I can now talk and drive, talk and type, talk and look at paperwork, or simply talk and have both of my hands free. This is by no means new technology, but it really made my work life easier.

Stop making to-do lists – Commonly called A.T.N.A. (all-talk-no-action), it has been proven that we tend to lose a significant amount of time when we write down the things we have to do on a day-to-day basis.  People “getting ready to get ready” has plagued our workforce for far too long. It’s good to have just a few items that have the most significance, complexity, or outside involvement, as the ones that are tackled first. Stop your wheel-spinning and go already!

Say ‘no’ more often – We all love to please, but we have to learn to say ‘no’ more often as we end up being saddled with a lot of work that could have been completed in a day.  Saying ‘no’ may be taken as rudeness but it helps as one does more work than when burdened with other minor responsibilities that eat up time.

Stop wasting time online – We all have friends and other responsibilities and we all love to know what’s happening outside of work.  The Internet has enabled us shorten the distance between those we love and when one wastes a lot of time surfing the web, not much can be accomplished. Leave the browsing at home—the information isn’t going anywhere.

Own your own schedule – This is the best way to be more productive at work.  This is because you are able to know what is to be done in a particular hour and when to take a deserved break.  It helps as a person becomes more organized and the unnecessary chit-chat or gossip is cut back.  It also shows that you are self-disciplined and competent.