Do you feel so swamped with work that you don’t know where to start? Do you feel paralysed and as if you are spiralling into a panic? Are you running from meeting to meeting, dashing off responses to emails while zipping through hallways, and focusing only on routine tasks?


Busy does not necessarily mean productive. Being busy may prevent you reaching your full potential.


It’s time to take stock of your work and your priorities. Admit to yourself that it’s time to improve the way you work.


Here are some tips to help you:

Commit to change
It’s important to believe that you can become more organised, change your work habits and become more efficient.

Identify what needs to get done
List your goals - write them down.

Track your time
Break your activities into broad categories and track the time you spend doing tasks in each category over two weeks. Does the time spent line up with the goals you identified?

Schedule your tasks
Set priorities and use realistic deadlines to your advantage, not to cause pressure and frustration. Create your daily ‘to-do’ list.

Organise your space
Organising your physical and digital (email) workspace will allow you to be more focused on the task at hand.

Develop smart routines
Begin your day early. Start with your ‘to-do’ list. Work in 90 minute increments, uninterrupted. Interruptions and distractions kill creativity. Review your day and get a good night’s sleep! Stop procrastinating and keep up the good habits.

Work effectively with others.
Working productively doesn’t always mean working alone. Learn to work with others but learn to say ‘no’ if you are being pulled in too many directions at once. Know how to delegate. And be ready to ask for help if needed.

Assess your progressReflect and adjust! Every few months, ask yourself if your organizational tools and routines are working for you.


Taking the time to step back and reconfigure how you work is critical to improving your productivity.


Source: Getting work done; HBR 20 Minute Manager