Take control of your day with these tips that will fuel productivity and help you get more out of your day.
1. Start off on the right note
How you start your day determines how productive the rest of the day will be. It’s tempting to pick up your phone, check messages and emails, and start responding immediately. But we suggest you hold off for a bit. It might make you feel like you’re getting a head start on the day, but you’re actually setting yourself up for burnout. Instead, spend your first few hours eating a wholesome, healthy breakfast, meditating or working out, and then sitting down to map out an agenda for the day. You will start off on a healthy note, with more energy, better focus, and a clear roadmap of what you need to accomplish.
2. Take notes
We’re not talking about taking down meeting minutes here. But rather jotting down things to do, your agenda/goals, points to remember, questions to ask, meetings scheduled, people to meet, phone calls to make…all the mental clutter that’s taking up so much of your brainpower. You don’t need to commit all this to memory. Write it all down in a notebook or use one of hundreds of apps out there that keep track of all this for you. By doing this you’re freeing your mind to focus on the important tasks, think about the big picture and process on a higher-level. It will ultimately help you be more productive and efficient, and ensuring you haven’t missed out on anything.
3. Avoid multitasking
Many are proud of their multi-tasking abilities and it might seem like a great skill to have, but it isn’t always the case. Multitasking means you’re almost always distracted by something else. You aren’t giving 100 per cent attention to the task at hand, so errors are more likely. And once distracted, it will take you more time to get your mind back on track to the first task. This results in a waste of time, increase in errors, and mental fatigue. As a leader, you can’t afford any of these drawbacks. So try single-tasking as much as possible. Get rid of distractions, outline a plan to focus on the task at hand, and make a conscious effort to stay on track. You will have increased focus leading to a quicker turnaround time and the satisfaction of a job well done.
4. Do the daunting tasks first
It’s tempting to do the easier tasks and keep the difficult, bigger ones for later. The smaller tasks make up a bigger list so you tell yourself your being more productive by doing them first. But the truth is you’re just putting off something you don’t want to do. You’re also pushing it to the second half of the day when fatigue has already set in and most of your brainpower and creativity has been spent. This is not an ideal situation in which to tackle a big, important task. So make it a point to tackle the tougher tasks right at the beginning of your workday when you’re fresh and energised. They will get done quicker and you’ll feed happier for having got them out of the way.
5. Step away from your desk
Working behind your desk all day without any break can be detrimental to your health as well as productivity. Your body gets stiff and the inactivity can lead to mental fatigue. We suggest you get up from your desk every hour or so. Walk around to a colleague’s desk for a chat, make a call while walking, walk to the coffee machine…basically get a change of scenery. Also do a few It will help your body relax and relieves boredom so that you come back to your desk more energised and motivated.
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