Friday, June 27, 2008

Gain and extra hour at work - without doing overtime!!!

Have you ever wished you could get an extra hour in your day to get the stuff done you need to at work?
Today I am going to share with you a couple of tips to get that extra hour in your workday. There is a catch though. It will require some action on your part. However I can promise you that if you take the prescribed action you will get that extra time.
This is a quickie but certainly a goodie, so here it is. If you do this when you go to work tomorrow I promise your productivity will rocket.
1) DO NOT check your emails as soon as you arrive in the office - I can hear you all groan now. But hey, the emails will not go anywhere. So do not open your email program, YET.
2) Take out a piece of paper and write down all the tasks you need to get through that day, make sure you note all the tasks, even the yucky ones.
3) Pick the two tasks that you least want to tackle. You know like that awful phone call you need to make or the difficult proposal you need to write. Then DO THEM NOW, FIRST, PRONTO. Great, I bet that feels better
4) Now you can check your emails.

By changing your morning routine to do these things in this order, you will have an increase in productivity that will equal at least an extra hour of time. HOW? I hear you ask.
The reason is:
1) Your emails are a distraction, each email you respond to will take between 2 and 20 minutes of your time. So by prioritising your day before you get sidetracked by emails you have a clear picture of what you really need to achieve.
2) Doing the two hardest and least desirable tasks first makes the rest of the day a breeze. All your other tasks will be a cinch after doing the hard stuff. Also knowing you have a horrible task to do can distract you, so getting it done first decreases the amount of mental distraction you carry throughout your day. This mental distraction will reduce your ability to perform effectively, so getting rid of it makes you more effective = productive.
3) Checking your emails after setting your daily priorities and doing the hard tasks allows you to approach your inbox with a renewed perspective. You know what your priorities are and you are less likely to waste time on emails that do not serve a purpose.

So go on, I dare you to challenge yourself to get an extra hour in your workday and increase your productivity. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Oh and while you are in your email program, switch of that pesky "you have mail" notification, ahh there you go another way to increase your time and reduce distractions.

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