Tuesday the productivity day! Today is your day to get something great done. According to a study by Accountemps, Tuesdays are the most productive days of the week. This has been true every year since they began surveying in 1987. Mondays surprisingly come in second place, leaving Wednesdays third. According to the 300+ Human Resources managers that were polled, Thursday and Friday are tied for the least productive days of the week.
That doesn’t mean you can’t make every day a Tuesday. When you make a plan to be productive in your life you usually will be. Let’s look at some ways to make your day productive.
- Plan it! Take the first fifteen minutes of your day to decide what is your priority for the day. Then cut your to-do list in half. Be realistic, what can you actually do in a day. If your list has fifty items it can feel defeating. Keep a running task list but don’t work off of it. Make your to-do list from your running task list giving priority to the most important task you have.
- Prepare for unexpected. Set aside an additional thirty minutes in your schedule for the unexpected. Things will come up during your day that requires immediate attention, if you prepare for them you will not be overwhelmed when they come up. If you are lucky enough to not have urgent task pop up during your work day you will have extra time to tackle the lower priority items from your running task list.
- Take breaks. Sitting at your desk working without breaks will prevent you from having fresh ideas. Getting up and walking around the office (or home) can help give your brain the break it needs to work out the task at hand.
- Set aside time for email. During your planning time set up times when you will check your email, learn to resist the urge to check in times other than your set aside time. (Exception would be #2). When you set aside time to check your email you will be able to focus on it when the time comes and not get side-tracked in the vortex that is the internet.
- Attack the top priority items before lunch. It’s true. After lunch, we are in the home stretch, literally. Productivity goes down after lunch so be sure to tackle the tough stuff first.
- Multitasking is not a thing. Having a daughter that has a Masters degree and working on a Ph.D. as a research cognitive psychologist, she has educated me in the truth that there is no such thing as multitasking. To be productive stop trying to do fifteen things at once. Focus on one thing finish it then move onto the next. (Follow that plan from step one!)
This is not just “work days”. If you want to make your life productive, this applies to all aspects of your life. It will take time to adjust to a productive life. It may seem like more work to plan, keep a running task list, schedule email times etc, but after a few weeks, you will find that you are completing more work than you ever thought possible. Writers, this is true of your writing too. Plan what you will do, when you will research on the internet when you will work on your author’s platform. Prioritize when you write best and do it!