We all have days when twenty-four hours don’t seem like enough. The to-do list gets longer, ambitious deadlines spread into tomorrow, the dishes pile up in the sink. . . Then, to top it all off, we take the blame: this is my fault, we tell ourselves, I’m being useless.
In fact, that’s not always true. Often, we just need to tweak our time management skills. Instead of thinking ‘work harder’, we should be encouraging ourselves to ‘work smarter’. For many of us, being more productive can come from small adjustments in a few unexpected places.
One golden rule for improving productivity is learning to make use of ‘dead time’. Crowdology users tend to be good at this and Jo from County Down, this month’s Mastercard winner, is no exception.
Jo loves the fact she can take surveys for money on her phone. It means spare moments in the day – like those spent commuting – are transformed into useful minutes. Jo says that’s one reason she’s stuck with Crowdology and stopped using other paid online survey sites: she likes the idea of earning a bit of cash but doesn’t want to log on to her computer every night to do surveys.
To top that, Jo has just won a Mastercard preloaded with £250 and is going to treat herself to a new orthopaedic mattress for her sore back. ‘This will go towards a really nice one!’, she told us. We really hope it improves your back pain, Jo. And, guess what, it will probably make you even more time-efficient too.
Yes, another sure-fire way to increase productivity is to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. It’s counterintuitive for some of us – we feel virtuous working long into the night and getting up at 5.30am – but if we keep overworking there’s a price to pay!
Our third tip for improving time-management is ranking things you need to accomplish in order of priority and sticking to the most important jobs first. Once you’ve got the first two or three under your belt, a satisfying sense of achievement kicks in, which is energising in itself.
And that leads straight on to tip number four. In this digital age it’s frighteningly easy to get distracted by the devices all around us. Try prioritising screen-time that gives you a sense of purpose over energy-sapping browsing. Jo enjoys Crowdology’s paid surveys because ‘the topics are interesting and relevant to your life’.
That’s good to hear, Jo, because they’re designed to be. We know people are more productive when they are genuinely stimulated by what they’re doing. That’s why we make every aspect of our surveys, from design to question wording, as engaging as possible. And the beauty of our online surveys is that the more productive you are, the more cash you receive.
Shame that doesn’t apply to those dishes. . .