With pilling tasks, long to-do lists, stressful days and tight deadlines, you find yourself losing a lot of time during your day at work. Before you know it, you’re tired and stressed or worse, you’re burnt out. Can you relate?
If that sounds familiar, no worries. I’ve been there too. Relax. Breathe. I got you covered.
Here are 13 tips to help you have a super productive day at work, that will guarantee you a better, more organized way of dividing your time at work, eliminate stress and actually increase productivity.
1. Plan ahead.
Planning your work week ahead saves you a ton of time, makes you focus on the important tasks and the bigger picture, allowing you more control and duration to get things done. Experts say that every minute spent in planning saves you 10 minutes in execution! Also, spend the last 10 minutes of every day planning for the next one, perfects your plan for productivity.
2. Prepare your outfit the night before.
The moment your alarm clock wakes you up in the morning, you should immediately get out of bed and start your morning routine. You DON’T want to waste your valuable time in the morning deciding on which clothes to wear. Prepare your clothes the night before.
To be quite honest, you don’t want to spend energy making unnecessary decisions. That is also why Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg always wear the same clothes every day.
3. Develop THE MASTER to-do list.
You should only have ONE to do list, and it should be your master to do list, containing all the activities that need to be done. If the activities aren’t included in your master to do list, they won’t get done. Update your to-do list with new important tasks and prioritize fast. It is very common that you will receive emails with new priority tasks within any normal work day.
Do you know what`s the most important thing with the master to do list? If you said, to always keep it up to date, you are completely correct. A high five to you! *SLAP*.
4. Apply the ABCDE method and the 80/20 rule
Your to-do list should be organized, based on the priorities of the tasks. Your priority tasks should be at the top of the list, followed by tasks that have less priority.
Prioritize your tasks using the ABCDE method:
“A” tasks – are tasks that you must do today, if not they will give you serious consequences
“B” tasks – are tasks that you should do today, if not they will give you mild consequences
“C” tasks – are tasks that you could do today, if not they will give no consequences
“D” tasks – are tasks you delegate to other people
“E” tasks – are tasks you eliminate. You never do them.
Always make sure to finish your top priority tasks first. By following this system you will be working at your most income generating tasks at any given time.
Use the 80/20 rule to identify your priority tasks. Pareto’s law says that 20% of your tasks will result in 80% of the total production value. Which means that if you have 10 tasks on your to do list today, and you only finish the first two most important tasks, this will give you 80% of the results you were expecting.
5. Start work early.
Most people are at their peak productivity in the first few hours of the day! Take that to your advantage, and focus on the top priority tasks early on in the day.
Some people are the most productive during the evening, while others are night owls. The key is to find out WHEN you are the most productive, and then block that time out for your most important tasks.
Two additional benefits of getting up 2 hours earlier, is that you get a head start and you will most likely have a quiet work environment. That is also why very successful people, like Richard Branson, gets up early in the morning.
6. Meditate for five minutes after you wake up.
Meditation relaxes your body and mind. While meditating, try to visualize your day, Imagine yourself go through the day and focus especially on important activities for that day, like giving a presentation. Envision accomplishing those tasks with great success, this technique has helped a lot of people achieving their goals in shorter periods of time.
7. Make yourself unreachable at work.
The best way to get things done at work is when you are not being interrupted. Finding a work space with minimum disturbance is key. If you can`t remove yourself from the environment, you have to do your best to control it.
8. Eat a proper breakfast.
Yes, this may seem obvious, but not everyone eats a proper breakfast. And some people don’t eat breakfast at all.
Eating a healthy wholesome breakfast really gets your brain juices flowing at the beginning of the day, and gets you fueled up for a great productive day.
If you don`t have time to eat breakfast, at least take the breakfast with you, so you can eat it on the way to work. Your body is like a car. Would you expect your car to be able to perform at top level, if didn’t have any fuel? Nope, and neither will your body.
9. Spend your commute on learning
Since we all only have 24 hours in our lives, the difference between a very successful person and you, is HOW you have spent your time.
Who said that time on the commute should be spent on reading newspapers, Googling trivial information or playing Candy Crush on your cell phone? Spend that time on listening to an audio book or a podcast that is about a SPECIFIC topic that will help you IMPROVE an important skill or LEARN knowledge that will give you an advantage to your work or business. This will make sure that you have gained another advantage to the majority of your competitors or coworkers.
10. Check your email at specific times only.
There is no bigger time thief than checking your email and becoming sucked into the almost endless void of other peoples requests. You should ONLY check your email at specific times. Unless you are waiting on a very important email, checking your email 2 times a day should be enough.
If you work from 9 am to 5 pm, checking your emails could be done at 11 am and 4 pm. You will then be able to spend your 2 first hours (9-11 am) on your most important tasks (if you aren’t able to work the 2 first hours from home). Then you will check the email right before you go to lunch, and then again 4 pm, one hour before your workday is over.
11. When new important tasks occur prioritize FAST
Yes, no matter how well you plan your day, new tasks seem to magically appear from nowhere…ALL the time.
It can be frustrating, right? The key is to be able to prioritize your task and put ALL the important tasks on your to-do list and if needed, rearrange your currents tasks. Most B tasks and all the C tasks can be added later. In other words, what you need to do is to be able to identify the A tasks.
• You are working 30 minutes on an A task on your to-do list.
• Then your boss tells you that an important client wants you to do 3 new tasks
• You quickly categorize them as 2 B tasks and 1 C task
• You continue to work 30 minutes on your A task
• Then you dear boss arrives once more, this time giving you another task from his boss.
• You quickly categorize the task to be an A task (even more important than the A task you are currently working on)
• You rearrange the order and puts your boss`s boss task on the top and start working on it
• When you are finished with that task, you start working on your previous A task
• At the end of the work day, you will be adding the 2 B tasks and 1 C task to your master to-do list
By doing this, you will be able to always be working on your most important tasks.
12. Say no
You should immediately start saying no to unreasonable requests. Successful people are really good at saying no. Every time you say yes to doing an activity, you are automatically saying no to other activities, like spending time with your family or going for the evening run. Super productive people are also very good at saying no. Perhaps that is why most successful people are super productive?
13. Enjoy your lunch break.
Try and take a lunch break in the middle of the day and completely disconnect from work to regain energy and relax. Also the break will help you divide your day better, for the optimal productivity.
You get the point. HOW you spend your TIME will determine your FUTURE.
What’s your best productivity tip?
Let us know if you tried other techniques to make your work day more productive.