How to Achieve a Productive Day

8 years ago

ProductivityForget about tasks or to-do lists – the key to getting the most out of your day is to do fewer things more productively regardless of what position you hold.  Achieving a productive day is a joyous occasion but simply ticking tasks off your to-do list isn’t necessarily an indication of productivity.

Below are some key points that truly productive individuals undertake during their working week:

The start of each day – focus on yourself – enjoy a good breakfast, read the news etc.  Try not to check your emails first thing as this can lead to others dictating your workload for the day.  If you can, ignore them and get on with what you need to.

Make a smaller to-do list – actioning everything on your to-do list isn’t necessarily the most productive use of your time.  Try to accomplish only the things that matter and lose the mindset that you must complete as much work as possible.

Take regular breaks – go out to get something to eat or drink, or better still do some light exercise or go for a walk.  This will clear your head and you’ll come back recharged and raring to go!

Office environment – ensure the office is light and airy.  If necessary open windows and let fresh air and natural light in.  Warm, stuffy atmospheres prevent the most productive people achieving their daily goals.

Follow the 80/20 rule – did you know only 20% of what you do each day produces 80% of your results!  Therefore you should delegate anything that doesn’t really count towards your 80% results.

Do the harder tasks earlier in the day – do your more challenging tasks in the morning when you’re feeling fresh and motivated.   Many people hit a brick wall after lunch or later in the day so use this time to complete your less challenging jobs.

Use the phone – innovative technology has lost us the art of communication.  Pick up the phone rather than ping-ponging emails this will save email distraction and increase your productivity.

Create a system – if emails are going to disrupt your daily productivity then try managing them by ignoring them until late morning after you’ve accomplished your main aim for that period of the day.

Don’t confuse productivity with laziness – nobody likes to admit it, but laziness is the number one factor for a lack of productivity.  How often do we say ‘I can’t be bothered today, I’ll do it tomorrow’.  In addition, meetings are often ways of getting out of doing ‘real’ work.  Concentrate on work that really matters and do it as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Get organised – a tidy desk usually constitutes a tidy mind.  If you’re dealing with physical papers/documents then organise them into piles or topics.  There is nothing worse than having to rummage through endless documents – not only does this decrease productivity but also drains your time and effort.

Remember the best use of your time should be ‘getting the job done’ by adopting a ‘less-is-more’ approach.  With this theory in mind, your productivity should soar through the roof!


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