One of the most important keys to effectively completing tasks is planning your days and weeks ahead of time so that you can be more productive at work. Planning your day should start well before 8 am. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your schedule to increase your overall productivity at work:
- Plan and prioritize your tasks: Whether you use software or just a plain old notepad for your task list, develop some way to organize your tasks by urgency. You should go into your workday already knowing what your most important task of the day is. Figure out what works best for you. Friday afternoons may be a good time for you to look ahead to the following week and develop a calendar with deadlines so that you can jump right in on Monday morning. Set aside a few minutes at the end of every day to go through your plan for the next day.
- Set up a “5 minute” task list: Sometimes you find yourself between meetings with a few minutes to spare, or maybe you have a hard time jumping into big tasks right after lunch. Start a running list of tasks that will only take a few minutes to complete for moments like these. You will feel accomplished, and completing these tasks will give you a jump-start into the more involved ones.
- Plan breaks: Your mind needs to take periodic breaks, so make sure you are already planning those breaks into your day. Aside from a lunch break, take at least one short break in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you can, get outside or at least get moving for 5-10 minutes. Short bursts of exercise get your blood flowing and release endorphins so you’ll come back to work with a clear head. It seems counter intuitive, but taking periodic short breaks actually makes your working hours more productive.
Planning ahead is an important but often overlooked way to improve productivity at work. For more information on how you can work planning into your busy work life, contact us.