Read: 5 min.
Working harder makes sense to a point – until you run out of hours in the day to get everything done. We’ve all been there before, but achieving your goals doesn’t always have to mean grinding every hour of the day.
In order to make the long commitment to school work in the long run, you need to pace yourself and take care of all the other obligations you have in your life – from work to family, to simply taking some personal time. While sometimes there’s no substitute for putting in the hours, especially when studying or working, the key to more productive time is to work smarter and more efficiently. We asked a number of experts at American InterContinental University experts to give us their advice on the approaches for working smarter to help boost productivity:
Plan for what you can realistically accomplish
It may seem cliché, but make yourself a to-do list! But be smart in how you are creating that to-do list. Be realistic about what you can accomplish today. After you get through the day, go back and measure your results, not the time you spent on your list. Measuring your results is what will help you continue to build on your productivity.
Nicole Stull, Vice President, Financial Aid Operations
Break your big projects down into achievable tasks
When I find myself in a situation where I have a number of different projects going at any given time, I like to break each one into a series of smaller tasks. Then, instead of sitting down to complete an entire project, I set out to accomplish one task. I treat each of those tasks as a project in itself so as they are done, I check them off my list, take a quick break and move on to the next one. Breaking down complex projects makes them feel less daunting, and there’s a great sense of accomplishment every time I check an item off my to-do list!
Sean O’Shea, Vice President, University Operations
Use reminders and block out time
I struggled with this for a long time. I found the best way to be more productive is to have a daily to-do list that I fill out the day before. I also use reminders on my calendars that alert me to what needs to be completed. If you are going back to school, it is important to schedule time as often as you can during the week to read and study. Don’t try to do everything in one night.
Trent Orndorf, Senior National Military Relations Manager
Plan for interruptions as necessary
Treat time as a precious resource that can never be recouped once gone. Spend every minute of every day wisely by planning ahead and managing time proactively. Have a strategy for dealing with the inevitable interruptions and distractions. Failure to do so will allow them to grow and multiply. Read constantly – the more you read the better your speed, comprehension, and retention – believe it or not, improving your reading skills will save tons of time while improving your career growth potential.
Dr. Judy Bullock, University Dean, School of Business
This article was written by American InterContinental University (AIU).
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