Happy Friday! This week has flown by for me. I don’t know if it was because I buried in work or if it was because we got home so late Sunday night/Monday morning, but I am not going to complain! I feel like I had a really productive week.
Since I have been so focused on work and my professional life this week, I thought I would share a few of my workday productivity tips! I was thinking about these A LOT this week when I was getting off-task.
Some of these tips may seem obvious and so simple, but that’s okay. You don’t need a fancy system to be productive – Keep. It. Simple.
Anyways, here are my top 5 workday productivity tips for you!
1. Close Outlook.
- This is a tough one, but if I have a big task or project, I almost always have to close my e-mail so I can get it done. I am very distracted by e-mail and like to respond immediately. Responding quickly is great, but you will never get your 4-hour task done if you keep responding to e-mails all day.
- You won’t be as behind on e-mail as you think. Set aside 30 minutes – 1 hour at the end of the day to check it again and get caught back up!
2. Decline Meetings.
- I think we all probably have a meeting on our calendar right now that we probably don’t need to be at….am I right?
- Ask yourself these questions: Am I going to contribute anything to this meeting? Am I going to speak to anything at this meeting? Is it important that I am on this call to listen to something? Would it be suitable for us to cancel this meeting altogether and do a quick e-mail instead? Is there even an agenda for this meeting?
- Depending on the way you answer those questions, you might be able to skip that meeting. I am in no way saying to skip all of your meetings, but think critically about which ones you should and should not attend.
- Another tip: If you are unsure, you can always contact the meeting owner and ask them if you need to be on the call!
3. Make a Daily To-Do List.
- I have been doing this for a while now and it works great. I make so many to-do lists, it is almost scary, but it helps me to be productive.
- I make a weekly to-do list, but making my daily to-do list makes tasks seem more manageable.
- I make my daily to-do list based off my schedule for the day. If I know I have a ton of meetings, I might only put a couple of items on it – be realistic. Try to make a list of things that you really need to get done that day or that you want to accomplish that day. Sure, you may not get EVERYTHING done, but hopefully you can get at least 80-90% of the way there!
- I always start my day with good intentions of getting everything done on that list, but something else usually comes that I have to do instead. That’s life! But this also leads me to my next point…
4. Wake-Up Early
- You don’t like to be up at 5 AM? Me neither. However, that is when I get the most done and nobody distracts me. This is something I started doing recently, and I am going to continue doing it. Plus, you will probably be able to get all of the way through that Daily To-Do list if you get up early!
- I typically can get 3-4 hours of un-interrupted work in when I wake up extra early. It. Is. Amazing. No one is instant messaging me, no one is calling me, there are literally zero distractions other than going back to bed maybe. 🙂
- I would recommend trying this out if your schedule allows for it. Obviously it may be harder if you have kids or if you have a long commute, but give it a go one day! You may be surprised.
5. Keep your inbox organized
- I could preach about this for hours, but I will try to keep it simple: you have to stay organized to be productive. Any type of clutter will clutter your mind. Whether it is physical clutter or electronic/e-mail clutter, it distracts you from getting the real work done.
- If your e-mail inbox is a disaster, get organized now and commit to staying organized.
- I treat my inbox as my to-do list (yep – another to-do list..oops!), so if there are 100+ e-mails in there, I am in trouble (or just really busy).
- When I get an e-mail, I read it, and then I either (A) file it away (B) put it in a follow-up folder (C) respond to it and file it (D) Delete (E) Keep it in my inbox as a task for later that day or week (you have to be careful with this last one, but it works for me).
Those are all of the tips and tricks I have for now! Of course, there are several other tips out there (you can even read books on this topic), so let me know what you think. Leave a comment down below if you have any other tips for me! I am always looking for ways to be more productive.
Anyways, I don’t want to take up too much of your time on this Friday. Time to get back to work and be productive 🙂
Have a great weekend!