Work’s tough. Tighter budgets and a more desperate job market can mean larger task loads and seemingly impossible obstacles for the average worker. Not all times are major push times at work, but when push comes to shove and deadline rests upon deadline, try taking a step back and analyzing how you can get the most bang for your hourly buck.

10 steps to productive success
Everyone works differently and one efficiency system may not work for all personalities and job positions. Start learning what works for you now by trying out this list of commonly effective productivity tips. In time, you can create a signature mix that works for you:

  1. Set Daily Goals – Decide what your day will look like right from the onset, and you’ll be less likely to get distracted by minutia down the line. Plus, crossing completed items off your to-do list will give you a positive boost of accomplishment!
  2. Set A Speedy Tempo – Adopt a New York state of mind, and pick up the pace. Walk faster; talk faster; think faster; work faster; leave work sooner.
  3. Cross It Out or Delegate It – If you’re swamped and a task isn’t project-critical, either remove it from your list or delegate it to a less time-strapped team member. Don’t waste time on tasks that do nothing to further your most urgent or important responsibilities.
  4. Worst First – Everyone has that nightmare project that they lay awake dreading. Get that project out of the way first. This will help you to avoid procrastinating on the hard stuff and will allow you to achieve a mini- or macro-victory that energizes your entire day.
  5. Leap Before Your Look – Before you get stuck overthinking a project, dive right into it. Overthinking can lead to procrastination, but if you jump right in, you will mostly plan and strategize what you’re doing along the way.
  6. Be Laser Focused – Multitasking can be great – sometimes. However, while you multitask, you actually lower your IQ anywhere from 5-15 points. Stay focused and don’t stray from the task at hand either until you’ve completed the task itself or reached the personal deadline you set for it. When other things come up, as they always do, write them down and handle them after you’ve reached your current goal.
  7. Group Tasks Into Batches – Have similar tasks like running errands, creating budget sheets, or writing social media posts for different platforms? Group the tasks by type and you’ll knock them out quickly, in a single session.
  8. Do Your Worst – If you’re stuck on delivering a perfect performance, you’re likely to spin your wheels with less than impressive results. So go ahead – do your worst. Once you’ve gotten your terrible, un-sharable first draft out of the way, get down to business examining just why it won’t work and what it leaves out. Oftentimes, this can help you prepare a more concrete vision with which to move forward.
  9. Sift Important Out of Urgent – Your day should be a balance of the things you need as a person and the things you need to do as a professional. Plan ahead and make time for both the urgent at work and the important at home to assure a clear, healthy, happy, AND productive state of mind.
  10. Create A Continuum – Before you leave work for the day, lay out the first of the next day’s tasks. Doing so will help you plunge into your next workday with momentum and purpose.