How to: Optimize Your Daily Schedule for Maximum Productivity
There’s one thing in common between all successful businessmen: they follow a work routine to stay organized and focused.
It helps to clear everything off the to-do list step by step and without applying too much pressure to yourself. These simple rules will help you nail it:
1. Plan out your day in advance
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. If emails are the first thing you do every day, it’s going to suck up all of your time — time you’re better off using elsewhere.
Before you even open your email client, take some time to write out your to-do list for the day and what you hope to accomplish. You could even write your list at the end of each day to prepare for the next one. This plan will allow you to get more things done and ensure the work you’re doing is right for your business.
2. Clean your workspace
Even though it’s a pain to clean right when you get into work, it makes a big difference to your ability to concentrate. A Princeton University study found that people who worked in a clean workspace out-performed those who worked in a cluttered one because clutter pulls your attention away from your work. In fact, the effects of clutter on concentration are not all that different from the effects of multitasking.
3. Eat the frog first
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain
We will do anything we can to avoid doing the thing we dread the most. But the tasks we dislike most are usually the most important. Instead of worrying about that task all day, it’s better to “eat the frog” first.
If you do it, then the rest of your tasks will seem easy in comparison.
4. Focus on three big tasks a day
It’s easy to get caught up in the emergencies, but don’t forget your larger goals. You may try focusing on getting three big tasks done every day. Write these goals at the top of your list and schedule your day around them. Productivity and performance are at their peak during uninterrupted 90-minute intervals, so you can schedule your time in 90-minute chunks.
Avoid distractions and don’t let anyone interrupt you while you’re working on these three things.
5. Batch tasks together
Many employees claim to be good at multitasking, but that’s a myth. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that productivity decreased by 40 percent when people tried to do two or more things at once.
Instead of trying to get a lot of different tasks done at once, group your similar tasks together and get those done in one chunk of time. For example, that could mean making all of your phone calls during a designated hour or creating all your content at once.
Batching your work will allow you to better focus on the task at hand and make you more productive during your time blocks.
6. Say no
“No” is a powerful word when you’re overwhelmed. Avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them while your mind is fresh. Learn to use no, and it will lift your mood as well as your productivity.
7. Take breaks
No one is highly productive 24/7. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to give your brain a rest. That way, you can come back refreshed and ready to get more done.