Turn off notifications

Turn off notifications

No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. 

During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead, build in time to check email and messages. 

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Time Management

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Only around 17 % of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time. 

Using the right tool can help by letting you know exactly how much time you spend on daily tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps.

Take regular breaks

Taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. 

Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance.

A manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. 

For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. 

If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. 

Completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later.

The average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings.

Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting.

If you absolutely must have a meeting, there's some evidence that standing meetings (everyone stands) can result in increased group arousal, decreased territoriality, and improved group performance.

Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. 

Make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

This goes for any unexpected "bonus" time you may find on your hands.

Instead of Candy-Crushing or Facebooking, use that time to pound out some emails, create your daily to-do list, or do some brainstorming.

It's common for entrepreneurs to get hung up on attempting to perfect a task.

It's better to complete the task and move it off your plate; if need be, you can always come back and adjust or improve it later.

Take exercise breaks

Using work time to exercise may actually help improve productivity.

If possible, build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym.

Set aside time for responding to emails, but don't let them determine what your day is going to look like.

Have a plan of attack at the start of each day, and then do your best to stick to it.

Researchers at Florida State University have found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus. 

They also found that top-performing subjects tend to work no more than 4.5 hours per day

Look at something nice

Outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements--like plants--can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. 

Jazz up your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face.

Brief interruptions appear to produce a change in work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity. 

Minimizing interruptions may mean setting office hours, keeping your door closed, or working from home for time-sensitive projects.

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RELATED IDEAS

1. Exercise

Get your day started right by getting the blood flowing. In Japan, companies used to have their employees start their mornings with some light exercise.

According to the Harvard Medical School, exercise “reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.”

12

IDEAS

There is no "one size fits all schedule" for maximum productivity.

Because we all have particular strengths and weaknesses when it comes to time management and productivity, what works for one person could be a total disaster for another.

Simply means planning out your day in advance and dedicating specific hours to accomplish specific tasks.

Doing this requires determining in advance what you will accomplish and exactly when you will accomplish it. Once you have those in mind, enter these into your calendar and then get to work on those tasks at the appropriate time during the day.

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