How to Make the Most of Your 40 Hour Work Week

We all have 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds in a day. That’s the unique thing about time, nobody has a competitive advantage. You can’t buy it, and no matter what you do, you can’t get more than 24 hours in a day.  A lot of us are probably guilty of saying that we wish there were more hours in the day. But why wish for more hours in the day when we can make better use of the time we have?

Below are some tips for making the most out of your workweek. 

Do a time audit 

Conduct an audit of how you are currently spending your time. How do you do this? Simply start by jotting down how you are spending time throughout the entire workday for 5-7 business days. It may help to set a phone timer every 30 minutes or so for a reminder. 

Once your audit is completed, it’s time to analyze the data. Look at what projects are taking up the most time- is there a better  way to get this task done? Can it be delegated to someone else on your team? 

Set goals and prioritize tasks

Before you start each week, set goals for what you want to accomplish. Once you are clear about what needs to get done, prioritize these tasks and start with the task that is the most important. 

(tip: if you are someone that is more productive during a certain time of day, block off your calendar to work on high-priority tasks during that time)

Work on one project at a time

You’ll get more work done if you work on one project at a time. Doing this will help you focus more and therefore get more work done in less time. If you have multiple projects you are working on, timebox your calendar to focus on that project. Timeboxing is allotting a fixed amount of time for a certain activity. 

Delegate tasks that you shouldn’t be doing 

Not only does delegating tasks free up some time on your calendar, but it also builds trust and enhances employees’ skills. Be sure not to take advantage of delegating tasks, and only do it when someone else is capable and has the bandwidth. 

Two computer monitors 

According to Quantum PC, a survey of over 1,000  users found an average productivity increase of 42% when users worked with two monitors instead of one. It makes finding information easy and quick, reduces app switching, and reduces the time it takes to finish a task.

Eliminate distractions

Here is a list of everyday distractions that take up a big chunk of time. 

  1. Your phone
  2. Conversations with co-workers
  3. Internet browsing 
  4. Social media 
  5. Meetings
  6. Smoke or snack breaks 
  7. Noisy co-workers
  8. Gossip 

Whether it’s putting your phone on do not disturb, working in a breakout room, or setting aside just one hour a day to go through emails, do whatever you need to do to eliminate the above from distracting you.

Learn how to say no! 

There are certain tasks that you don’t have the bandwidth for or simply just shouldn’t be doing. Learn to be comfortable saying no (and explaining why) to your co-workers.