Innisfree Hotels is proud to employ an in-house digital marketing agency called Bee Loud, a team of tireless and creative professionals who work hard and have fun telling the story of our company, our guest experience and our philanthropic efforts in the communities we serve. For those of you – like us – who need help managing your workload, we recently devised this go-to list.
TIP #1 – FIND YOUR FLOW
Find focus. Carve out four (4) hours each day for thoughtful work. Wear headphones and tell your colleagues not to interrupt you during flow time. Schedule time for ‘no meetings’ on your calendar and clump your meetings together. Turn off notifications and hide your phone. Plan brain breaks. Set a focus timer. Respect extended quiet times in the office.
TIP #2 – CLEAR YOUR HEAD
Keep a notepad beside you while you work, so if an idea pops in your head you can write it down and stay focused on the task at hand. At the end of each day, process your scribbled notes into a digital task list. Keep a draft email open with all questions you need to ask your boss or teammates, and send at the end of the day.
TIP #3 – DON’T SWITCH TASK
Multitasking is a myth. Every time you switch tasks, you lose time and focus. So do one thing at a time. Talk to one person at a time. Choose a task from your list and work on it until it is done.
TIP #4 – EAT THE FROG
Do hard tasks first. Attach emotions to the tasks on your list, and do the ones that will make you feel the happiest when you check them off.
TIP #5 – PROCESS DAILY AT A SET TIME
Set a time and place to process your tasks every day and wait until that scheduled time. Process all paper, emails and phone messages. Touch everything only once. Take action by either creating a task on your list, discarding or delegating. Empty your email box every day. Use archive and search functions.
TIP #6 – DO IT NOW
Do it now. Not later. Now. Push hard to finish today’s tasks today.
TIP #7 – USE ALL THE MINUTES
Don’t underestimate the value of small chunks of time. Starting a big task at 4:30? Yes!
TIP #8 – AVOID THE URGENT TYRANT
The tyranny of the urgent refers to the tendency of little things that have to be done right now to get in the way of what really matters. Urgent actions often feel important, but have little impact. If you succumb to the tyranny, you can find yourself going days – or even weeks – without touching the important stuff. Productive people are good at spotting the urgent tyrant. They’re willing to ignore or delegate the things that get in the way of important forward momentum.
TIP #9 – DECREASE YOUR GATHERING POINTS
A gathering point is any place where information or tasks accumulate that you need to check and process. This may include your email inbox, spam box, voicemail, Facebook messages, Twitter, your assistant, text messages, Gmail chat, Basecamp, your car, your corporate inbox and your desk. (The average person has 12. Effective people have 6.) Review your gathering points, and remove them where possible.
TIP #10 – USE A PHYSICAL INBOX
Put a box on your desk, and place everything that needs to be processed in it. Everything goes in there as it comes to you. Process it daily.
TIP #11 – GET RID OF CLUTTER
When you come to your office every day and see piles on your desk or office floor, it’s stressful and draining. Cultivate the habit of never putting anything unprocessed anywhere other than your inbox. Be ruthless. Sort everything in your office so everything has a home. Pens go with pens, staples with staples. Everything is in its home when you leave at night.
TIP #12 – PLAN YOUR WEEK
Create a digital task list (in a cloud) with a product like Basecamp, that you can access from all your devices. Review it on Monday morning and note which tasks you will do on which days. Hold yourself accountable. Be proactive in resolving obstacles. If your task is part of a large project, then touch base with your collaborators and reiterate what you need from them and when. Don’t overestimate what you can do in a day.
TIP #13 – PLAN TOMORROW
The last thing you do every day should be to review your task list and calendar for the following day. Make adjustments as necessary, and remind your teammates what you need from them to remove obstacles. Note what you need to be prepared to execute your schedule smoothly.
TIP #14 – USE YOUR CALENDAR
Make sure every appointment is on your calendar and never double-book. Check and update your calendar daily, and sync your calendar to your phone.
TIP #15 – KEEP AN ‘INSPIRATION’ GATHERING PLACE
Keep a gathering place like Evernote for inspiration and ideas. Schedule a monthly time to clear it out.
BONUS TIP – GET WORK DONE AT WORK
Establish firm boundaries between work and personal time and use these boundaries to force yourself to be productive at work. Give yourself a time budget for tasks and adhere to it.
Protect your most valuable activities – like family, friends, exercise and sunsets.