Unlock the secret to a more productive day, including prioritizing tasks and establishing daily routines with these 10 tips and tricks!
Clean out the clutter.
A messy office area is a stressful office area. You can’t be productive if it takes half the morning to find what you are looking for. Clean out the clutter in your office area and your desk to be more productive.
Don’t jump right into emails.
Usually when you walk into the office, you have an idea of what you want to get done. However, that gets sidetracked the minute you open your emails and spend the rest of the morning putting out fires or replying to other requests. First thing in the morning, write down the one project you want to work on for the day. Spend your first 30 minutes of the morning working on it; then start checking emails. Put some time aside again after lunch to continue working on your project.
Keep to a routine.
Set up a routine and stick to it. Extremely productive and successful people like Richard Branson, Henry Ford or even Thomas Edison followed strict daily routines. Peak productivity is not about luck—it’s about devotion.
It’s ok to say no.
You don’t have to say yes to every request. Many feel by saying yes to any project or task that comes our way we are being more productive. This is not the case. In fact, it makes us less productive. Be selective with the tasks you accept, and be honest with yourself about why you may not be able to take on a project. Make sure you can devote enough time to each task. Understand which ones are of immediate concern and which ones give you a bit more lead time.
Stop the madness of multitasking.
New research shows that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work, allowing us to become distracted more easily than before. Be one of the rare few who develops the mental and physical discipline to focus on one thing at a time. Devote your energy to one task until it’s time to move on to the next.
To-do list and not to-do list.
Write a stop doing list. Every productive person obsessively sets “to-do” lists; however, write down what you can commit to stop doing. Sometimes being your most productive self means letting go of tasks or projects you either can’t devote time to or are unnecessary.
Sometimes in order to get the most out of a workday, we need to unplug from our devices. Take time to schedule seclusion—meaning lock yourself in an office or conference room with no phones, computers or pagers, and get to work. You’ll be surprised how doing this one simple thing each day can actually improve productivity.
Find time when you think there is none.
Sometimes we often see the day as “not enough time.” But if we look hard enough, we can squeeze hours out of time we didn’t realize we had. For example, do you have to commute to work every day? If you’re commuting 30 minutes or more each way, that’s five hours per week in your car. Utilize that time to listen to audio books, learning programs or podcasts. The fastest way to double productivity and even shorten your workday is to triple your rate of learning with the time you do have without overloading.
No one can work effectively eight to ten hours a day, five days a week without taking a break. Plan your workdays to include at least four ten-minute intervals of break time. Get up and stretch, go for a quick walk, grab a healthy snack, call your spouse to chat or check in on your kids. Whatever takes your mind off of work for a few minutes, find time to do it—then back to work!
Dehydration often leads to loss of energy. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Have a glass or a bottle of water next to your desk and refill it as needed throughout the day. Not drinking enough water can lead to more than just loss of energy. It can cause illness, which leads to calling in sick. Keep yourself hydrated with H2O, and you’ll get more done.