10 ways to be more productive

#1 Get up earlier. Admittedly, a horrendous prospect for many of us, but once you see how much you can get done in that hour or two at your desk before others get to theirs and the emails and calls start coming in, you’ll quickly be converted to the merit of an early rise.

#2 Break your working day into hourly blocks. Once the emails and calls do start coming in, reply to them at set intervals rather than immediately. The fewer the interruptions in between times, the greater your focus will be on the task at hand and the more you’ll get accomplished every hour.

#3 Identify your natural rhythm and work with it. Some people prefer to start the day with smaller, more administrative tasks to help them get into their stride for tackling bigger projects. Others prefer to get started on the big projects first thing while their head is fresh and energy levels high, leaving smaller jobs for later on in the day.

#4 Cluster together like-for-like activities. Need to have a few meetings? Try and arrange them for the same day. Project to work on? Try and keep the day clear of meetings. That way, you avoid that horrible lethargy that can descend between arriving back from a meeting on one subject and getting your head into the next.

#5 Cut back on the sugary stuff. Tastes mighty fine at the time but ultimately it’ll lead to one almighty blood sugar slump, leaving you feeling sluggish and causing you to take longer over projects than you would normally take.

#6 Go to the gym. Find yourself flagging earlier than usual because of your early start? Try a quick trip to the gym. The second wind you get from your workout should see you through a few more hours worth of work on your return.

#7 Write tomorrow’s to-do list today. By jotting down the priorities for the next day, you’ll not only cut down the likelihood of forgetting something important but you’ll also know immediately where to start the next morning.

#8 Set an alternative curfew. Set a time in the evening before which you’re not allowed to touch a drop of drink, keeping you productive for longer. The minute that first glass of wine is poured and your butt hits the sofa, you can pretty much kiss goodbye to whatever it was that you were hoping to get done that night.

#9 Keep the TV off until there’s something you really want to watch. Ah the joy of vbox, tivo, Sky+ and the like that allow you to save up your favourite series for when you’re ready to watch them, rather than getting sucked into all the other mindless stuff that’s on around them, losing hours in the process.

#10 Go to bed earlier. The downside is that it shortens your day, the upside is the massive boost in your productivity levels.

Got one to add? Leave a comment below.

© Lesley Dougall Copywriting Limited and 10thingsby.com, 2012. Unauthorised reproduction of content is not permitted. To request permission, contact copywriter@lesleydougall.com

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