Be more productive this year and take that “Queen B” title…or King…

I mean, I don’t even like Beyonce, but the girl is on top of things.

1. Zero Your Inbox

Emails come in all day and all night long. Emails don’t take evenings or weekends off. In the New Year check your emails when they role in but only to make sure they aren’t urgent. Once you’ve read them and realized they aren’t, keep them in your inbox until you are in the office, then handle whatever they are concerning. Once you’ve taken care of the task within the email, file the email away into a folder. Leaving you with a clean and clear inbox. Using your email as a to-do list will allow you to be more productive this new year.

2. Take the Nights Off

Like I said earlier, make sure your emails aren’t urgent and then let them sit for the night. You can actually become more productive when you force yourself to get your work done in the office. When you allow yourself to work at home you tend to be distracted and take longer to accomplish tasks. This causes you to spend less time with your family or resting which then can cause distractions at the office.

3. Use Your Phone

We live in a world of texting and emails. Start using your phone for what it was made for, pick it up and call your clients. You can get your point across more accurately and articulately when you make a phone call. You might think sending a quick email will be faster, but certain things aren’t the easiest to convey over text and that can lead to confusion between you and your client, which can lead to more emails and an inevitable phone call anyway.

4. Work Offline

Turn off your Wi-Fi. Of course some things you will need the Internet for, but if you’re editing photos or writing blogs or a novel or doing anything that you don’t need the Internet for, turn it off. Better yet, work on a computer that doesn’t connect to the Internet. This will allow you less distractions and more focus on your work, making you more productive.

5. Time Management

There are a million books on time management, I suggest reading some. Chris Hardwick, one of the busiest men in entertainment, once talked about how he learned time management on his podcast, The Nerdist. He read a ton of books and has an assistant, but the short version is to set a timer and time how long it takes you to do tasks. Then the next time you do the same task, try to beat that original time. Make sure you don’t get distracted by other things. You will want to time yourself doing only the task you have set, not anything else and no other distractions.

6. Checklists

Start each morning with a meeting with yourself. Create your to-do list with your priority tasks first, and the rest lower on the list. You never know what you’ll receive throughout the day that needs to be done immediately and will take most of your day away, so get your priorities right and done first. This will allow you to accomplish things quickly and wont push you into working after hours to accomplish those priority tasks you neglected.