Do you have difficulty staying productive throughout the day? If so, you are not alone.
Many people have great intentions, but unfortunately the focus can get sucked up by the time monster. What can we do to keep our day as productive as possible? Well, I asked productivity guru Sheila Hawkins to share.
5 Tips for Staying Productive at Work
We are in a time of information overload, and life is moving at the speed of light. In this information overload age, many of us are dealing with different things: juggling businesses and our personal lives. From executives to entrepreneurs to working parents, we all are feeling pressured due to the quick pace of today's world.
Given that scenario, staying on top of your game can be a challenge, but at the same time being productive is necessary. So how do you do that? Start with these five tips.
1. Plan Your Work Days
Over the course of the years that I’ve been helping people increase their productivity, I’ve heard so many people say that planning is a waste of time. I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true. As a matter of fact, every minute that you spend planning saves you ten when it comes to execution. Plan for each week based upon your annual or quarterly plan. When you plan this way, weekly planning doesn’t take that long, and it contributes to increased productivity.
2. Add Tasks to Your Calendar
If you’re smart you use a to-do list daily. It’s a great habit to have even though only 5% of business and professional people actually use them. The tasks from your to-do list should be added to your calendar if the task is going to take longer than 15 minutes. This way you don’t end up having to stop working on something or eliminating it altogether because of other items on your calendar. Doing so keeps you from crowding your day and keeps you on track.
3. Don’t Check Email First Thing in the Morning
Considering the information that we constantly get via email, we know it’s important. That doesn’t mean that it should be the first thing we jump to as soon as we start our work day. Email can take up a lot of your time and in fact, there will be things in your email that will sidetrack you and have you off in left field, greatly contributing to your lack of productivity. Instead of checking email first thing in the morning, work on one of your priority tasks for the day and check your email an hour and a half to two hours into the day.
4. First Things First
To elaborate on what I mentioned in the last tip, prioritize your tasks and work on your top priority first. Start working on what you’ve determined to be the most important thing and work until it's done, or until the time that you’ve allotted for is up before you move on to the next task. It’s a good rule to only have one or two top priorities each day.
5. Consider Your Prime Time
Everyone has what I call their own "Prime Time," a particular time of day where you’re at your best. Your physical energy is high, mentally you’re sharp, and can get most of your work done during that particular time. Learn what works for you by paying attention to when your energy, both physical and mental, is the greatest and when it’s at lower levels. One clue you might take is looking at how your body and mind feel in the morning. Also, look at the time of day you start to wind down physically and mentally. If you’re a morning person it’s highly probable that your mental and physical energy are high from the time you get up, or maybe a couple of hours after that, until mid-day.
Stop struggling and juggling with your business and relieve yourself of the pressure that today’s culture brings. Employ these five tips to give yourself some structure, and to gain some footing so that you can stay on top of your game and stay productive.
Sheila Hawkins is President/CEO of Third Eye Group based in Detroit, Michigan. Sheila has been helping professionals and entrepreneurs organize their time and increase their productivity for the last 21 years. She's a coach, speaker, media personality and author. Her new book, Wielding Time, shares her personalized approach to productivity that has been called "revolutionary."
Hawkins provides customized services tailored to the needs and personality of the client, creating order and peace, transforming environments, initiatives and lives. Services include office organizing, productivity training, coaching, and workshops. Learn more by visiting thirdeyegroup.net and pick up more productivity tips at her blog, timeandspaceblog.com.