Have you ever told yourself you’ll just have a calm hour or so at work, that then turns into a day, and then two. Then before you know it the whole week has gone by and you’ve done nothing but write a short introduction to a blog you’re writing on how to be productive? Sounds like you could use some advice on how to have a productive day in the office.
- Don’t make the common mistake of letting other people’s tasks define your day. It’s easily done, you check your phone in the morning, see that Shelly from accounts has sent you an email, and poof, the first half of your day is now devoted to doing what she’s requested. Set your own goals. Once you’ve planned out the tasks you want to get done that day and set a schedule to complete them by, then you can use extra time to help 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 affect 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 much affect your end goal.
- Don’t waste space in your brain by trying to remember everything. Invest in a notebook and actually take notes throughout your day. This way, your brain power is free to work on more pressing tasks. If you’re more tech-savvy, then use a system on your computer to track things that you need to remember at a later point.
- Do your most daunting tasks at the start of the day. Realistically, as the day goes on and you get tired, you’re going to become less likely to do that task that you’ve been dreading. Get the hardest part of your work schedule out of the way at the start of your day. It can only get easier from there!
- Don’t try to multi-task. Allow yourself to get into ‘the zone’ whilst working on a task. It’s easy to become side-tracked and panic about all the jobs on your to-do list, but doing one task at a time is always best. By doing this, you can give each task your full commitment and 100% energy, rather than half-hearting two jobs at once.
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