The Grindstone has rounded up three tips for making the first hour of the day more productive: don’t check email, tackle the big stuff first and reconnect with colleagues and clients that you haven’t spoken to in a minute.
While these are all good things to do at some point or another, they struck us a little strange in terms of increasing productivity. We have five tips that we think will make the day a more productive one.
Keep quiet. Use the first hour of the day to quietly gather your thoughts, write your to-do list, send those email messages that have been waiting to be written and catch up on any research or reading material that frequently gets pushed aside in favor of more pressing matters. Having a chance to sit and think can spur new ideas and get your mind in order. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find yourself powered up and able to more efficiently get through more tasks.
Delegate. We so often take on everything ourselves, even the tasks that are really part of the job descriptions of other staffers. Use some of that quiet time to get assignments to assistants and other colleagues. That leaves you more time to tackle the important issues and tasks that are on your desk.
Don’t forget deadlines. When you assign those tasks, make sure you’ve included deadlines. This will help keep you on track and help others to organize their day. Without deadlines, you can find yourself waiting around for pieces of a project and quickly falling behind.
Take short breaks. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you step away from your desk and come back to your computer with fresh eyes. This is the time when we would suggest visiting your co-workers, grabbing a Diet Coke and lingering by the machine to check out anything new on the company bulletin board, or just taking a walk around the office to see what (or who) is new.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Sometimes we get so anxious about what we haven’t done, we can’t concentrate on what we’re doing. Some days are going to be more productive than others. Accept that. And prepare for the next day when you’ll have to play a bit of catch up. Know when you leave the office that when you come back, there are things that have to get done and carve out a path for yourself to conquer those items.
What are your tips and tricks for being more efficient? Chime in in the comments section.