3. Set deadlines

Journalists work best under deadlines. They thrive on knowing they only have a certain amount of time to write their story and turn it into their editor. It forces them to focus because they know they don’t have time to procrastinate. The same can work for you. Set deadlines for the work you need to get done. Be realistic about how long it will take to complete the project. Setting deadlines for ourselves helps hold us accountable for the responsibilities we have. It also gives customers a timeline as to when to expect to hear from you again.

4. Turn off your notifications

One of the biggest time wasters is your mobile phone. As handy as it can be for your business, it’s also a huge distraction, with endless notifications, apps to explore, social media to catch up on and the internet to browse. If you’re like most people, keeping your phone beside you as you work is a must. The problem is that the buzzing noise of your phone vibrating against your desk every time you get a notification can be incredibly distracting, causing you to lose focus every few minutes; however you can fix that. If you go into your settings, you can turn off notifications from the apps popping up on your screen the most. Or, you can take it a step further and put your phone in another room. You don’t have to do it for the entire time you’re working. When you’re writing those emails or blog posts, you’ll be more focused if your phone isn’t right there beside you to cause needless distractions.

5. Take breaks

This might sound counterintuitive but to be more productive, we need to take short breaks about every 90 minutes throughout the day to help keep our minds focused and avoid fatigue. You may think you can go for hours without taking a break, but you’ll notice your mind starts to wander after focusing for more than a couple of hours. We need breaks! Our brains are wired that way. Use this time to recharge your mind. Get a snack, take a short walk, go to a workout class, or even take a few minutes to chat with someone. Then, once you get back to your desk, you’ll notice a renewed focus in your work. Go ahead, try it.

6. Don’t Multitask

This too, might seem like the opposite of time management, but trust us, it isn’t. Here’s the thing; multitasking might seem like it’s a great way to get lots of things done at the same time, but the problem is you only think you are. You can’t actually get two things done at once. You’re only switching between several tasks in short bursts. The end result is that you have very little progress to show for it. Instead, try grouping your activities. Devote one hour to making phone calls, another hour to emailing customers and prospects, two hours for blog writing, and so on. Once you start grouping your activities, you’ll notice an increase in your productivity.

To help you with your time management, we also recommend two excellent books: Your Brain at Work by David Rock and Focus by Daniel Goleman. If you’re a direct seller who works with a team, we recommend the Evernote app, Trello and Monday. These apps help organize assignments and notes and are great for team communications.

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