If you go to work day after day without a plan, then wonder why you never seem to accomplish as much as you want to, your stress level is always higher than you would like, or your day seems so unorganized, maybe you need to work smarter rather than simply putting in longer hours.
Here are a few tips on how to increase productivity and make the most of every working hour.
- Alert Periods. Studies show that most people's brains are at their top levels of alertness 2.5 to 4 hours after waking in the morning. In order to take advantage of these higher levels of alertness, if possible, schedule the more difficult tasks for earlier in the day and leave more mundane tasks such as answering emails or filling out routine paperwork for later in the day.
- Split Challenging Projects into Chunks. If you dread starting a big project because it seems so overwhelming, break the project down into more manageable chunks. For example, if you know you have a project due at the end of the week, make a plan to work on the project every day in the morning (when you're most alert) for a certain period of time. By working on the project every day, you'll know you are making steady progress on accomplishing your goal and you won't feel overwhelmed by trying to complete the project all at once.
- Identify your Top Priority. Some people need to identify their top priority every day, whereas others need to identify it in their upcoming week. Either way, the top priority is the one task that will have the greatest impact on accomplishing a person's overall goals. The highest priority may not be the biggest task, it may just be as simple as a phone call, but it's the one task that cannot be overlooked. When looking ahead to the upcoming day (or week), make sure your top task has a place in your schedule!
- Try Some Gum. If you frequently experience an afternoon slump after lunch, try chewing some gum. Not only can it be good for your teeth depending upon what brand you buy, the simple motion of chewing may also help to reduce sleepiness, allowing you to power through your afternoon.
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