Does it seem like the workday slips away from you, but you can’t remember what exactly you were able to accomplish in that time? Being busy isn’t the same as being productive, but by focusing your efforts in a more meaningful way, you can make sure you are making an impact in your business and for your company. Here are three high-value productivity tips to help you get the most out of your workday.
Get Organized and Prioritize Your Day
To-do lists and schedules are obvious tools to help you stay organized. Setting personal deadlines and sticking to them will also help you stay on top of things. Learning to prioritize is key in feeling more productive at the end of the day. The most important tasks each day are the ones you should prioritize because it’s likely they drive the most impact. Rally your energy and tackle those daily goals that have the greatest influence on your performance and, therefore, your success.
Brian Tracy, a best-selling personal development author, calls the most important and most challenging tasks we need to complete daily our “big frog” tasks. Most people choose to focus first on the unimportant tasks (the little frogs) and save the big frogs for last. But as the day slips away, the chances of accomplishing those big frog tasks gets smaller and smaller. Prioritize your day and tackle the most challenging work first. You’ll get much more productive work done and fill in the blanks with the busy work that may otherwise overtake your day.
Constantly checking email, answering phone calls and attending meetings may seem like urgent tasks, but often they are more of a distraction. Set some time aside for these tasks, and focus on your to-do list when it’s possible. That may mean turning off your notifications on your phone or calendar for a while. Sometimes it means finding some quiet space in the office to focus on a specific task. The Pomodoro productivity method recommends setting a timer for 25 minutes of productive time on a specific task to focus your efforts without distraction. Whatever it takes to get your head in the right place to get good work done, do that. It will make a huge difference in your day.
Check Your Attitude
If you’re having a hard day, or feel you aren’t in a positive place with your work, chances are you could use an attitude check. If you are tired from a long weekend, or are otherwise not fully focused on the work, don’t fall into the routine of cutting yourself too much slack. Try to convince yourself that work time is for being productive, and use that energy to kickstart your can-do attitude. Breaks are important, and without them we all risk burnout. But if we are having trouble getting into the right frame of mind, some positive self-talk and surrounding yourself with equally motivated people can be just what you need to get the most out of your day.
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