Tips for staying productive all day long

At Ecard Shack we are dedicated to improving our customer’s productivity by saving time and money with our Holiday Ecards for Business but we are also concerned as business professionals to be as productive as possible each and every working day.

Time

If you are the sort of super motivated, 24/7 productive person who consistently achieves all they set out to each day then there’s no need to read on (but do please reply to this blog and let us all know how you do it). For the rest of us, just think about how many of those ‘how did your day go’ conversations you’ve had when the honest answer was, “well, not as well as I would have liked”.

 

There are plenty of reasons why we are not as productive as we would like, some are beyond our control, but many aren’t and these are the areas we need to address. Just how much more could you get done if you only halved the amount of time wasted each day? The rewards are big so it’s worth making the effort to see what you could achieve. There’s no panacea but here are a few practical, some would say obvious steps to take, that we often overlook.

 

1. Arrive at work energised.

 

There are several ways of ensuring you do this:

 

–          A bit of exercise is probably the most effective. Get your body working, increase your blood flow and release those feel-good endorphins. You don’t have to run a half marathon, there’s a 7 minute workout that lays it all out for you (there’s even an app) and it exercises every major muscle group in your body.

 

–          Make sure you get enough sleep. How much is different for everyone (you’ll know what’s right for you) so don’t watch that extra hour of TV and switch off your computer/tablet and get to bed!

 

–          Have a decent breakfast to get your metabolism going, and try and stick to slow energy release energy foods like whole grains and complex carbohydrates. Bananas are also great and easy if you’ve little time to prepare anything (they are also a handy booster at any time of the day)

 

2. Set some daily targets.

 

Whist you are working out or preparing breakfast, decide on the three things that you’d like to accomplish in the next 12 hours in order for you to feel like the day was a success. Setting goals and then prioritising your time in order to achieve them is a great way of focussing your mind and always know what you should be doing. When you get to the office, block out enough time to achieve these goals so that you don’t get distracted.

 

3. Make use of idle time.

 

You will have down time during the day. Unexpected wait times, delays, and more. Getting a moment to relax is good, however it’s not productive when you end up wasting two hours in idle wait time. So, always have some work with you to keep you productive. It can be as simple as having reading material to catch up on via your phone or tablet.

 

4. Reset for the afternoon

 

Take 10-15 minutes after lunch to review what you have achieved in the morning and plan a productive afternoon. Take yourself ‘offline’ when you do this so that it takes the minimum amount of time to re-focus.

 

5. Limit the amount of time you commit to meetings. Wasted time in meetings is one of the biggest time wasters we all suffer. If it’s your own meeting, come well prepared and make sure others do as well. If it’s someone else’s and time is dragging on, don’t be afraid to voice the fact that you have other things you need to get done. If it’s running over time and you have contributed all you can – make your excuses and leave.

 

6. We are all bombarded with emails all day and the web provides a constant distraction. Just add a little discipline to the amount of time you spend on both.

 

Like I said, there is no panacea to staying productive and the tips I’ve listed here are just a few. You can make your own mind up about what works for you – the key thing is to be aware of how much more productive you could be and have a plan to achieve it.

When December rolls around and me and my team are running around like headless chickens serving our customers for their corporate electronic Christmas cards I need to remember what I wrote in this blog.