Getting To Done: How to avoid “Rush Hour”

Getting To Done: How to avoid “Rush Hour”

by Keith Robinson

My good friend Will recently asked for some advice dealing with what he calls “The Rush Hour”:

…now between 4:00 and 5:00 has become the Rush Hour for
me: how many proposals, quotes, emails, phone calls can you get out
before most people head home? That hour never has enough minutes

For many the term “Rush Hour” refers to the mad rush to get home
from work and relax, but many people deal with Will's version every
day. It's the mad rush to finish everything you need to get done so
that you can get into your car and battle the other rush hour.

Doesn't sound like a very productive way to work or loads of fun now
does it? For me, having anything wait until the last minute can be a
major stress and I avoid it whenever possible. So, having trouble with
“rush hour” yourself? I've got a few tips that might help.

A three-step approach can keep tasks from stacking up in the last hour of the day.

  1. Plan your day.
  2. Do easy tasks first.
  3. Don't procrastinate.

Proper planning is key.

Planning out your day (and your week and your month) can be a real
help. If you take a few minutes early in the day to get a handle on
what you need to do you can better manage your time and keep tasks from
stacking up.

Tackle easy stuff first.

Once you've done your planning, do yourself a favor and set aside
some time to clear any small stuff off your plate. The things that tend
to pile up at the end of days are usually smaller tasks, and there are
usually quite a few of them. Knocking things out early on will help you
build a productive momentum for your whole day.

The early bird gets the worm.

The best way to avoid “rush hour” is to be sure you've finished
everything early. Make sure you're getting an early start on all your
tasks. I'm a huge fan of the quick start; it really does work.

You don't even have to make significant progress on your tasks.
Sometimes even the smallest effort at the beginning can make a ton of
difference in the long run. Just remember, every little bit you can get
done early is a bit you won't have to deal with during your “rush hour”.

D. Keith Robinson is an associate editor of Lifehacker. His special feature Getting To Done appears every other Monday on Lifehacker.  [Lifehacker]

Leave a comment