Medliorate

Improving medical students

10 Productivity Tips for Busy Schedules

Posted by medliorator on February 7, 2008

Working with small pieces of time instead of large chunks isn’t as easy. It’s easier to procrastinate in the thirty minutes between meetings than it is to waste a four hour period. Navigating a tight schedule forces you to quickly switch mental states, going from one type of task to another.

 

1. Morning Ritual. The best way to reclaim a large chunk of time is to reorganize when you are awake. Early morning hours usually won’t be filled with events, so you can squeeze extra project time at the start of each morning.

 

2. Plan to Work. If you see an unused 15, 20 or 45 minutes in your schedule, plan to use it ahead of time. Working when you feel like it isn’t an effective strategy if your day is fragmented.

 

3. Say No. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you need to commit to an event. The easiest way to survive a fractured schedule is to not make one in the first place.

 

4. Make the Important Work Louder. Carry around a to-do list for work on your major projects and include deadlines. I’ve found that watching my to-do list is a good way to remind myself of tasks that would otherwise be pushed aside.

 

5. Nuke the Procrastination Temptations. When you only have twenty minutes between tasks, it is tempting to just let the time slip away. Unplug the internet, phone or whatever your vice happens to be when you’ve saved a few minutes.

 

8. Don’t Multitask. Instead of doing two things in the time it takes to do one, you end up doing two things, poorly, in the time it would take to do four.

 

10. Find Your Sweet Spots. When your day is scattered, you need to determine the “sweet spots” in your schedule. This could be longer stretches of uninterrupted time, or times when you have more energy. Once you find these sweet spots you need to make sure they aren’t wasted by procrastination or unimportant tasks.

10 Tips for Staying Productive While Being Scheduled to Death [Scott Young]

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