It would be nice if I had a magical secret to tell you which would make your day extremely productive but alas, there is no such thing. If you’re anything like me, there are days when you’re completing your to-do-list with ease and you’re completely on top of things. But there are those other days when you feel depleted of energy, unable to concentrate.
It is important to remember that this isn’t a reflection of who you are or the standard of work you do. Even the most accomplished individuals have ‘off days’. It is hard to be consistently productive but putting yourself in the right mindset will help you get things done.
Here are a few suggestions:
The first thing I do at my desk is I create a to-do-list for the day. I begin with a list of tasks I want to get done in the day. This could include individual emails that need to be addressed or any reminders. After this step, I prioritise these tasks by urgency, taking into consideration the length of time each task takes. By putting the tasks into things that must get done first, I can, at the very least cross off the most important tasks, at the end of the day.
Leave room for the unexpected
There is always an unexpected phone call or email which will cause me to alter my to-do-list list. It is important to leave space for such things that pop up throughout the day, so you don’t leave work feeling like you were interrupted and unable to complete the tasks you wanted to. I would recommend planning 80% of your day and leaving 20% open for the unexpected.
Some days my to-do-list will look like it will take me the whole day to complete but the tasks only need half an hour allocated to them. Other days, there are only 4 or 5 things on my list which look like they will take no time at all but are likely to take a day or two to complete. You don’t need a lengthy to-do-list to feel accomplished, but you do need to be realistic about the tasks you can complete in a day. Try writing out time frames for each task so you can give yourself plenty of time to complete everything you need to.