We share eight easy reminders of ways to make sure your day is more productive, to help you get the most from your day.
To-do lists – we all know how essential a to-do list is to an effective day, so make the next day’s list before you leave the office with each item rated based on its importance. This not only helps you focus quickly in the morning and increases the productiveness of your day, it also allows you to leave work at work.
Make notes – pen and paper, smart phone, tablet, whichever suits you; jot down actions, ideas, names, reminders somewhere other than your memory to serve as prompts and avoid oversights.
Use the phone – communication is key and sometimes picking up the phone can be much more productive and immediate than sending an email.
Take breaks – it’s good to start hard and stay focused but you are more productive when you take short breaks. As fatigue sets in you will feel the quality of your work diminish, so get some fresh air or simply stand up, stretch and look out of the window for a few minutes!
Don’t wait – waiting for someone to return a call or an email is an easy way to stop working and lose your momentum. Ask yourself what small task can be done in the meantime, while resisting the temptation to browse the news, social media or other distractions.
Avoid multitasking – although we’re told women are good at it, multitasking is not the most efficient way to work. It interferes with your brain’s ability to perform at full capacity, so do one thing at a time, minimize context shifts and focus until a task is complete to maximize brain power.
Review your day – make sure you drive your day, don’t let events drive you. Sometimes a day can get derailed by unexpected events, so it is important to check that you are moving forward and that the high priority items on your to-do list get done.
Sleep – rather than struggle to stay awake and finish a project, get some rest, set the alarm and address the challenge fresh in the morning. If you’re really flagging during a stressful day, a five minute ‘power nap’ can work wonders.