Increase your productivity and make the most from 2017 with our top eight tips – part two

Make the most from 2017

In our last blog we reviewed the first four of eight top tips for increasing your productivity this New Year. From making the use of early morning peace and quiet to brain superfoods, we covered some fantastic ways in which you can make small changes that will have a positive effect on your productivity.

 

In this blog we take a look at the remaining four top tips, on how to win at your contracting productivity in 2017.

 

5. Task management

What do you need to achieve this week and today? Each week create three lists:

 

  • What needs to be done this week?
  • Which days do each task need to be completed by?
  • At which point in each day do the tasks need to be completed?

 

Not only will you structure each day to ensure maximum productivity, it’ll also keep you focused on the task at hand. You could take this a step further, by sharing your weekly plan with your client.  They will then know when to expect updates and completed work from you. It’s a win for both you and them!

 

6. Switch off sometimes 

How many times has a bolt of inspirational lightening hit you, right when you’re in the middle of completing the most mundane task?

 

By letting your mind rest and switch off from your day-to-day hustle and bustle, you’ll allow yourself to develop potential business ideas and areas for growth and development. Just make sure you have a pen and paper to hand!

 

7. Healthy body, healthy mind

The two are certainly connected, so ensure you look after your body just as much as you do your mind. The three ways to achieve this are:

 

Sleep – get the recommended seven to nine hours a night to ensure optimal functionality the following day.

Eat – you are what you eat, so ensure you put in what you want to get out.

Exercise – whether it’s 20 minutes of pilates, a short jog or even a class at your local sports centre, whatever you enjoy doing ensure you get moving.

 

8. It’s ok to say ‘no’

If you’re used to saying yes to everyone and everything, this can be a tough tip to master. Your professional working day is just that, yours, so ensure you don’t make room for anyone else during those hours where you need to focus.

 

Every task you let slip into your working day must take the place of one you’ve already allocated time to, so ensure you leave it until your ‘to-do’ list for that day is completed.

 

The same can be said for accepting every contract offer that comes your way, especially when you’re just starting out. Ask yourself which contracts and clients will help you achieve your professional goals (whatever these may be) the quickest, and then focus on those. Remember though to stay in touch with those you don’t accept straight away, as you never know when you may need them, or the opportunities they could go on to offer.

 

Take the Intouch New Year challenge!

How many of our top eight tips can you adopt into your new working year? Why not keep a rough record of how much time you save and let us know? We’d love to hear how much time you’ve been able to give to your own personal pursuits and whether they’ve helped you stay focused on the task at hand.

 

This January we’ve also created five nifty Contractor specific New Year’s Resolutions, to help you start your year off on the right foot. Check them out today and see how you could make the most from your contracting or freelancing career this New Year.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Increase your productivity this New Year with our top eight tips – part one

Increase your productivity in 2017

Ever find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Would you like more time to work on a personal project, pursue your latest hobby, or even just spend time with loved ones? Whatever it may be, we all wish there was more time for it.

 

So if you need to achieve more in your working day to help free up more precious after hours time, then this is the blog for you. After all, we all get 24 hours in our day – it’s what we do with them that counts. In the first of two blogs we look at the first four tricks you can adopt this New Year to improve your time management and productivity.

 

1. Use technology to your advantage

Technology is a fantastic aid when running your own business as you can hunt for contracts, manage your social media accounts, and work on your current contract all at once. But whilst this can mean achieving three things at once, it also means your concentration is split three ways…

 

If you’re easily distracted, ensure you switch off any notifications which may pop up when working. Only check your notifications during set breaks, so that your concentration doesn’t stray. Not only will it mean your focus remains sharp, you’ll also achieve set timed tasks throughout your working day.

 

2. The early bird catches the worm

Many professionals credit early starts as the key to their success, as it ensures they make the most from their day. So how can it benefit you?

 

Peace and quiet – You’re up before anyone else, allowing you to create your ideal work environment before it naturally changes as others start their day. Use those first couple of hours to your advantage, knowing you can end your day sooner than those who haven’t started until 9am.

 

Time for food – There’s no fire without fuel, so by getting up earlier you’ll have more time to have a proper breakfast before you start your day.

 

Perspective on the day ahead – By getting up earlier you’ll have time to take a step back and plan how you want your day to pan out. Instead of screeching into your client’s office two minutes before you’re supposed to start, or impatiently waiting for your laptop to spring into life from home, you’ll have the luxury of starting work calmly, knowing how you’re going to tackle your day’s tasks.

 

3. Structure your day in blocks

We all have different tolerances when it comes to how long we can perform a particular task before we need a break. So consider your typical working day and how long you can usually keep focus and productivity before you need to take a break.

 

Working through lunch, not allowing your eyes to rest from a screen (including your smartphone), or even keeping your mind running on work through breaks all lead to a reduction in productivity and can contribute to increased levels of work related stress.

 

Consider your day and when you need regular breaks, and which tasks can be completed during those times. Tackle the most challenging tasks first, allowing your mind an easy afternoon with the least taxing.

 

4. Take breaks when you need them

Whether it’s getting some fresh air, tuning into your favourite radio station, calling a friend or even doing some meditation, always take breaks as and when you need them.

 

Your productivity and professional attitude will thank you at the end of the day.

 

Final thoughts…for now!

We will be publishing our next four top New Year productivity tips shortly, so keep an eye out on our social media channels, to be the first to check them out.

 

Do you have any tips of your own? Share them with us! We’d love to hear how you conquer the world of time and productivity management whilst winning at contracting.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.