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The Biz Growth Blog

5 Steps to Creating a Productive Work Schedule

Dec 15, 2022 | Uncategorized

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All of us have the same twenty-four hours each day. But have you asked yourself why successful people can get so much done in their twenty-four hours? Why is it that many, if not most of us, struggle to accomplish tasks that are on our basic to-do list?

One factor that we can see is time management. Admit it or not, a lot of us have trouble using time efficiently throughout the day. We can remedy this dilemma by using productivity tips and creating and sticking to an efficient daily schedule.

A workday is important, and by sticking to an efficient daily schedule, we can do more and do better every single day.

The Growth Managers: 5 Steps to Creating a Productive Work ScheduleTime Blocking Increases Productivity.

Time is a finite resource. Leaving your time and days to chance is not responsible resource management that could lead to wasted time, cause stress, and impede productivity.

By organising your calendar into blocks, you list down tasks into varying time slots to maximise your productivity. By organising your workday into blocks of time, you can get tasks done proactively and efficiently.

Time blocking works since it will require you to review your weekly schedule to prioritise tasks. It works for the simple reason that time blocking is designed for focus.

Time blocking is by far more effective than multitasking because it is built on the premise of single tasking. Multitasking’s major flaw is that it divides our attention and our ability to focus.

The nature of a single task of time blocking improves productivity by as much as 80%. With time blocking, you can focus on a singular task for an hour or two at a time and do deep work.

Once you have listed down and sized up your week, you can then adjust your time blocks accordingly for each day. At the end of each working day, you can then assess and account for any unfinished items as well as new incoming tasks.

Why an effective schedule is important to business owners?

A study shows that typical employees waste about 15 hours of their productivity each week due to non-work-related activities, including scheduling. Just imagine the amount of time that could have been saved if these unproductive tasks are eliminated and focused on some real work instead.

For business owners, there are several reasons why an effective schedule is essential in running, managing, and growing their business.

  1. It enhances productivity and efficiency – Having an efficient schedule helps in keeping track of everything. This includes scheduling staff, booking appointments, delegating tasks, and tracking deadlines. Additionally, it helps in measuring your progress in managing your workforce, and more.
  2. Improves time management – The importance of schedule and routine is not limited to enhancing productivity. It also plays a major role in time management. Having an effective schedule helps you in keeping track of everything in one place. It helps in keeping track of ongoing projects, assigning projects to different employees, and keeping track of project deadlines.
  3. Aids in task prioritisation – An effective schedule help in managing projects in order of priority. It helps keep your focus on the most significant tasks or the ones whose deadline is fast approaching.
  4. Helps in managing workforce – A schedule helps in optimising your workforce to better manage costs in terms of efficiency. It also aids in promoting deep work and aids in combating procrastination.
  5. Enhances teamwork – One of the main advantages of scheduling is that it keeps everyone on the same page. You can establish common guidelines regarding a project and assign employees as well as specify their respective roles, and track their progress. Team members can then work together smoothly since they will know exactly who has to do what and who to contact in case of any issue.

5 Steps to Creating a Product Work Schedule

Step 1: Understand your daily priorities

An effective prioritisation comes in fully understanding the scope of what you need to get done. Even the most mundane of tasks should be listed down and considered.

To give you a better scope, it is always a good idea to include both personal and workday tasks in a single task list. Once everything is listed down, the next step is for you to prioritise these tasks according to their importance, urgency, length, and the rewards of each task.

It may look simplistic, but this time management strategy in prioritising is key to achieving long-term goals. Prioritising helps you identify tasks that are most pertinent to future outcomes.

It’s impossible to accomplish everything in a single day, and certain distractions cannot be avoided, no matter how well you prioritise. To achieve your goals and prioritise tasks, you need to be realistic. If you don’t, you will create false expectations and always feel like you are falling behind.

Step 2: Organise your priorities into base categories

One thing you must keep in mind is that being busy doesn’t always equate to being productive. For time blocking or scheduling to be effective, all your tasks should not only be prioritised but must also be categorised according to importance and urgency. Consider the following:

  • Urgent and Important – This task should be done above all else.
  • Important but not that urgent – Block these tasks off on your calendar to have them done, without interruption.
  • Urgent but not that important – If you can, delegate. If not, block time in the latter time of your schedule.
  • Neither urgent nor important – These tasks are your lowest priority. If you can, you may remove them from your priority to-do list.

Your priority tasks should be chosen more for their importance than their urgency. To help you decide, ask yourself goal-oriented questions such as: What tasks will have the greatest impact on the result? What can I get done today that will inch forward toward a specific goal?

Step 3: Understand your best work times for being creative, administrative, team orientated, and communicative (within your priority categories)

According to an old saying, a dream can only come true with teamwork. As such, there is a perfect time for everything in a workday.

It would be advantageous for all parties concerned to be able to treat these timings as a strategic decision. This is simply because moods and mental capacities do fluctuate dramatically throughout the day.

You must understand and accept that everyone on your team works differently. There is no arguing that people have a different peak, and weak, productivity times. There would be team members who prefer doing deep work in the morning; while there are those who opt to do them in the afternoons.

To illustrate, believe it or not, our brains do creative work better when we are tired, and our brain is not functioning as efficiently.

When you are tired, your brain has a hard time filtering out distractions and focusing on a particular task. Additionally, it isn’t as good at remembering connections between ideas or concepts. Both qualities are good for creative work since it requires making new connections, being open to new ideas, and thinking in new ways.

Identifying your peak times and those of your team is a great move to adequate time blocking. Having that information make’s planning for your team’s schedules easier and more effectively.

Step 4: Block priority categories at a time that suits your work style best – not based on the clock

The work styles that people use to accomplish their tasks vary from person to person. Knowing a team member’s work style helps you to be better equipped in motivating them and setting them up for success.

For a business owner, it is likewise important to reflect on your work style first before helping in empowering your team members to understand theirs. Doing so helps in mitigating biases you may have about work as you help your team members.

Regardless of your work style, the priority tasks that you have listed and categorised can be blocked more efficiently based on your peak times of performance. Doing so would ensure that tasks get done on schedule.

To cite an example, if you are a slow starter, block tasks that are not as heavy in the mornings and then escalate to more difficult tasks as the day progresses. The gist is, that you will be able to get your daily tasks accomplished without tasking you too much and leaving you too tired to do much of anything more.

Or you could do it in reverse and do the more difficult tasks in the mornings and do the easier and least priority tasks in the afternoon for a smooth ride. Regardless of your work style, the goal is to get things done.

Step 5: Set time aside for breaks.

Oftentimes overlooked, and in some instances over abused, setting time in your schedule to have broken is productive. Taking a few minutes off your work console or desk for a quick coffee break, snack, or even a 10-minute power nap can do wonders for productivity.

Just to cite a few, taking a break from work during the day helps in:

  • Improving concentration and productivity.
  • Restarts your brain for better memory recall.
  • Reduces your stress level.
  • Revitalises your stamina
  • Sharpens your motor skills.

Taking short breaks from work increases your focus when you return to work, thus it helps in improve your productivity and prevents decision fatigue.

Breaks can sometimes be hard for employees to take, despite the obvious benefits. An easy way to encourage employees to take breaks, if feasible, is to implement group breaks into the work team’s schedule.

In closing.

Managing your time effectively can help you stay on top of things, focus on what matters, and avoid procrastination. It may take a little trial and error to come up with a blueprint that works for you, but with practice and patience, you’ll be an expert in no time.

For more tips, ideas, strategies and tactics, avail of The Growth Manager’s Business Development Program, for the next steps you can undertake the next steps you can take to achieve your business growth.

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