Is your to-do list never completed? Are you frequently interrupted by the phone, emails, or coworkers? Are you constantly worried because you never seem to accomplish anything? It appears you’re in need of some tips on how to have a productive day at work!
Don’t get into the trap of allowing other people’s tasks to dictate your day. It’s simple: you check your phone first thing in the morning, find that Liz from accounts has sent you an email, and presto, the first part of your day is dedicated to fulfilling her request. Make your own objectives. After you’ve mapped out the things you want to perform that day and set a deadline for them, you can use any free time to assist others.
Realise what is your most important work. The ‘Law of the Vital Few’ suggests that it is the most important 20% of tasks that has the biggest effect on your end result. The less important 80% of tasks don’t warrant as much time and energy. Figure out which tasks really matter to your end goal, and dedicate attention to these tasks. Don’t waste time on tasks that, at the end of the day, don’t impact your end goal.
Don’t stress about remembering everything. Purchase a notebook and have it with you throughout the day. This frees up your mind to focus on the task at hand. If you’re more tech-savvy, apps like ToDoIst can keep track of your tasks for you and remind you of what has to be done. Another wonderful task manager that works on all devices is Trello, but a good old-fashioned spreadsheet will suffice.
Do your most difficult duties first thing in the morning. As the day progresses and you become more exhausted, you are less likely to do the things you’ve been putting off. Get the most difficult part of your workday out of the way first, and things will only get easier from there!
Avoid attempting to multitask. True multitasking is a myth, because switching tasks comes at a cost in terms of time. It takes time for your brain to acclimate to a new task, so focus on one thing at a time and complete it thoroughly before moving on to the next. It’s easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed by your to-do list, but focusing on one item at a time is always the best approach. Instead of completing two jobs half-heartedly, you can give each one your complete attention and energy.
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