Everyone gets the same number of hours a day, it’s just how we use them.
Get a head start.
- The best way to prepare for a run is to start the night before. Before leaving work or before going to bed, take ten minutes to see the next day’s obligations. Which dates cannot be missed? What do you need for these appointments? (Make sure you have these documents in common and are ready). Which three to five tasks need to be done? Decide what you will do first. Look at this list of tasks and decide if tasks can be delegated to someone else. The busier your day will be, the more important it is to run through these questions the night before. This means that in the morning you will not waste time deciding where to start or gathering materials (and perhaps discovering a crucial element when you need it).
Do your most dreaded task first
- Each of us has one or more tasks on our to-do list that we fear to do. Maybe it’s an awkward call you do not want to make. Or this blog post you postponed because you do not know how to start. Or this project that overwhelms you just because it’s so massive. However, it puts a strain on your head and distracts you with feelings of guilt as it continues to be pushed to the next day and the next day. It is time to finish this cycle. Do it first. Do something about this overwhelming task, maybe you cannot finish it in one day, but you can at least start. Whatever it is, do it. Let yourself be carried away by the satisfaction of crossing your list for the rest of your busy day.
- One of the main factors for lost productivity is constant interruptions. E-mails, phone calls, people and technology that can make our lives easier and more efficient can also make it almost impossible to work efficiently. Here’s the thing: you can control technology. If you have an important job that requires attention and concentration, you need to create a space that suits you best. Whether it’s a meeting with a client or a colleague or an important letter to write or a piece of art you want to create, take your time to focus on that commitment, then turn off any distractions. Shut down your phone or turn off the ringtone. Stop your email notifications. Disconnect the Internet or at least Facebook and Twitter. Close the door of your office. Turn off all external communication and give yourself the necessary luxury of undisturbed time to really focus on the subject at hand.
- People can only concentrate for a certain amount of time. Regardless of the activity, after a period of time, mental fatigue begins to affect your effectiveness. Take ten minutes to get up, stretch, take a glass of water and walk around the block. You will mentally and physically return to work and be even more productive.
- If your daily demands include routine tasks, try to group similar tasks and plan a few hours of the day to eliminate them. Instead of interrupting your work to answer emails, or return phone calls, do it all at once. You can make several batches throughout the day but make sure you do a bulk of work each time, not just one email or one phone call.
- Not be too repetitive, but healthy people are more productive. Exercise makes you healthier, so be sure to do sports every day. You do not have to spend hours in the gym, take a walk around the block or do isometrics at your desk. Just do something to make your heart beat and your blood flow. This improves both your overall well-being and your ability to think clearly.