Try to avoid scheduling too much in your day. It will only cause you stress and give you less time to focus on what you need to get done that day. Try doing less every day, scheduling fewer meetings, and giving yourself more time to get things done and done well. Not only will you be more productive in the long run, but you’ll dramatically improve your stress levels if you’re not spreading yourself thin.
It’s easy for time to get away from you, so try and figure out how you spend it. Put a stopwatch on each task you handle, or keep track of what time of day you’re at your most productive. Once you’ve been keeping track of how you spend your time for a while, start using it to your advantage. You’ll notice when you’re spending too much time procrastinating or which tasks you spend too much time on, and can take care of your biggest responsibilities when you’re at your most productive.
Big tasks are daunting. The bigger they are the harder it is to force yourself to get started on them. So break your big tasks into smaller steps. It will be easier to convince yourself to take care of something small, and you’ll feel better as you check more and more items of your to-do list, which will only help motivate you further.
We spend a huge amount of our daily routine sending and answering emails, usually for things that could be handled more quickly and effectively in person. Try speaking in person or picking up the phone whenever possible. You’ll get things done faster, spend less time composing and proofing emails, and will avoid any misunderstandings that come from misreading the tone of a text conversation.
You’d be amazed at how much time you can spend on research if you don’t know where to start. A reliable source of information, be it a friend in the know, a journalist, a blog, or a reliable website, all of these can help you stay plugged in to your area of interest, and help you cut down on time spent looking for the answer to any question you might have.
While it’s necessary to work out of the office for meetings and collaborative projects, sometimes it’s good to get away from the hustle and bustle. Some people do their best work outside of the office, or work better in an environment with less distractions. Try working outside of the office at least one day a week, and see how it affects your productivity and creativity. You never know what may inspire you when you walk out the office door.
Our brains have trouble focusing on one thing for longer than 45 minutes at a time, so try and schedule your day with that in mind. If something will take you longer than that to complete, try breaking it up with other projects, meetings, or time to clear your head. You wouldn’t believe how feeling refreshed in mind and body will help your productivity.
Your commute is the perfect time to prepare for your day. Go through your to-do list and prioritize what needs to be done first. Call any off-site employees and check in with them. Review materials relevant to any meetings you have scheduled for the day. Or just use the time to relax and focus on yourself.
Don’t let faulty technology mess up your day. Make sure you’re using calendar programs that play well with all your tech, and that automatically push changes to your schedule to all your devices. Having a schedule that’s out of sync, or doesn’t exist in all the places you might look is the quickest way to stop your productivity in its tracks.