Whether you work from home, from an office space in Fairfax, or a Washington DC office space, I’m sure at some point you have struggled with being productive. This can be attributed to not prioritizing your work day efficiently. We all pretty much know to get rid of Facebook and Twitter if we want to get things done. Keeping a clean and uncluttered workspace is also a good idea. But there are a few other things you can do too:
MAKE INBOX RULES
Create a folder for priority messages and another for everything else. Every morning divide your inbox into those two folders. That way, you can work on the urgent ones first without being “visually” distracted by other, not so important messages.
Be sure to set a specific time for email too. A good standby rule is first thing in the morning, right after lunch, and again at the end of day. You can use the long intervals between emails to get work done.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Every couple of hours, get away from your desk for 15 minutes. Walk outside for some Vitamin D and fresh air. Take a stroll to Starbucks and get some coffee. Anything that will temporarily shut off your brain is a welcome respite, and helps keep you from getting burned out. If you focus on one thing for too long, your brain will become bored with the topic and your efficiency will start to decrease. Give it a jolt awake with much needed breaks.
NEXT DAY TO DO LIST
The last 15 minutes of your day should be used to prepare a to do list for the following work day. It’s a great way to get a jump start in the morning since you will already have a road map in front of you, instead of arriving at the office and racking your brain trying to remember everything you need to accomplish for the day. Be sure to keep it short though. Only 2-3 major items, and 2-3 minor items. Create a time block (2-4 hours) where you only work on these particular items.
GET AN EARLY START
Starting your work day early will not only give you 30-60 minutes of time to work with minimal interruptions (phone calls, email, people popping in, meetings) but it also has a really cool way of tricking your brain into thinking you are ahead of the game. This will get you into a groove of productivity and before you know it, you will have crossed every item off your to do list and be leaving with a lovely sense of satisfaction for having such an accomplished day.
I’m curious, what are some tips that have worked in making your day more productive? Have any of the above mentioned given you some inspiration? Let us know your thoughts!
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