Six ways to make your day more productive
Posted on 09 January 2017
The formula for productivity is simple – total output divided by total input. Sounds simple, but in practice it can be difficult to stay focused and get things done. As we kick off the working year, now is the perfect time to focus on our daily habits that will increase our productivity in the workplace.Here we outline six ways to stay focused and make your day more productive:
1. To do before you do – before you begin responding to emails or walk into the first meeting, set out your goals for the day. A realistic to-do list helps you map your priorities, remain focused on what you want to achieve and keep motivated. To be most effective, write your list the night before. This allows you to hit the ground running from the get-go in the morning and clears your mind at the end of the working day.
2. Time allocation – once the list is done, note the estimated time to complete each of the tasks next to it. This will help you evaluate if it is realistic to achieve all that you aim to, as well giving you a timetable to stick to as you progress through the day.
3. Put email in its place – can you hear the bing of Outlook ringing in your ears even when your metres from your computer? That key communication tool can be one of your biggest distractions and timewasters throughout the day. Instead of checking your emails each time you receive a notification, schedule specific times throughout the day to check, read and respond to emails. This helps streamline disruptions and keep you focused on the task at hand.
4. Meeting creep and cull – back-to-backs or a day full of meetings, just when are you expected to do your work? While many meetings can’t be avoided, do ensure that you attending out of necessity not FOMO. Also, ensure that meetings run to time, meeting creep can eat up your day. An easy trick to claw back some time is to schedule 45 minute meetings instead of an hour, this gives you 15 extra minutes back at your desk and you’ll find most of what would be achieved in an hour can be achieved in this time.
5. Respect the clock - time is money. Your time, your colleague’s time and your client’s time is all precious and the more you respect that, the more respect they will have for you. Be on time every time, for meetings, deadlines, deliverables. You’ll quickly earn a reputation for delivering and then when you need to ask for an extension on a deadline, it will be granted.
6. Start at hard – pick your hardest task for the day and start with that. You know the one you’ve put off for days, hoped to delegate, wished would drop off the list. Yeah, start with that. You’re freshest and most focused in the morning, meaning you are best equipped to tackle the demanding. Also, the feeling of accomplishment when that bad boy is off the ‘to do’, well that sets you up for a very successful rest of the day.
Just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day so maybe introduce one daily discipline at a time. Even one small change will make a significant difference in your work productivity.