Create a smaller to-do list. Getting things accomplished during your workday isn’t about doing as much as possible during the work-day. It may be hard to swallow, but there’s nothing productive about getting bogged down by a slew of tasks on a list. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on completing the things that absolutely matter. Keeping a small, tight focus on what’s important is more effective than trying to keep track of a broad list.
Take breaks. You know that ache that fills your brain when you’ve been powering through your work log for several hours? This is due to your brain using up glucose; it’s a sign of fatigue. Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time. Achieve more productivity during your workday by making a point to regularly clear your head. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve more.
Follow the 80/20 rule. Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results? Eliminate the things that don’t matter; they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. If you’re working on a project, for example, systematically remove the excess, unnecessary tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets 80 percent of it accomplished.
Start your day by focusing on yourself. If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Ignore your emails and take the morning to focus on yourself. Eat a good breakfast, meditate, or read the news instead of immediately opening your phone or laptop.
Take on harder tasks earlier in the day. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is at its most fresh. Save your busy work – if you have any – for when your afternoon slump rolls in.
Pick up the phone. The digital world has created poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get work off their plate. Don’t be a victim of this action. This distracts everyone involved by creating noise around the tasks they’re trying to accomplish and is a sign of laziness. If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCCing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Increase your productivity by scheduling a call.
Create a system. If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them. Do you find yourself constantly checking your emails throughout the day? Plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot for managing your email to eliminate the distraction.
Don’t confuse productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the number one contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of common office practices – take meetings and emails, for example – are often used as ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Remember, less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday.]]>