We all have twenty-four hours in a day and very often we hear people complain that there aren’t enough hours in a day. This may sound weird and I must confess, I have said that to myself sometimes.
But even very successful people have just twenty-four hours in a day and make the most of it. With that in mind, it won’t be a bad idea to discuss ways to improve productivity, especially at work.
Working long hours in a day could lead to exhaustion, tiredness, high level of stress and frustration, poor engagement, and lower productivity at work. If you are not privileged to have a flexible workplace depending on your job and industry, it’s really important that you know how to schedule your day.
I’ve written a post in the past on productivity and you should read it to have a better background of today’s post.
Read: 6 Rules to Increase Productivity at work
In this post, I’d be focusing more on ways to schedule your entire work day, especially if you work a 9-5 job, as most people do. If you don’t, you could tweak this makeshift schedule to soothe your work day.
Morning (6: 00 AM – 10: 00 AM)
I find that the days I wake up early happen to be the most productive days because I seem to be in the right frame of mind. I get to plan things better and feel stronger. The days I remember to exercise in the morning, for a little bit, appear better.
Frankly speaking, I think you need a lot of determination and commitment to exercise regularly (especially every morning). I still struggle with this, but I try to exercise every other day, at evenings.
So if you exercise in the mornings, thumbs up! Please leave me a comment and tell me the secret. Share with others who need this trick.
Waking up early goes a long way in making your day productive as I said earlier. You should also try to have a great breakfast.
Read: 5 Tips to help you Sleep Better
7:00 AM – 9: 00 AM
Depending on the distance from your house to your workplace, commute time is an important time to spend on personal matters you may have. But this works well if you don’t drive.
If you do, it’s a time to clear your head, listen to your favorite music, podcast, or radio station, and feel somewhat relaxed. You could also get a cup of coffee or tea if you are about that life (I like to make mine). I actually prefer having a snack with water at this time of the day.
Read: How to Keep a Great Schedule that Works
10: 00 AM
Some people say, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” I like this idea as well. I feel mentally alert when I have eaten well in the morning. I often feel a headache if I don’t and you certainly don’t want that for the rest of your work day.
That is why I share food recipes on the blog with the help of The Food Disciple. A quick tip is to prepare your work meal the day before or you can buy some at a restaurant depending on your budget.
I tend to have breakfast later in the morning, preferably around 10:00 AM. Check out the recent breakfast recipe here and take out time to read my collaborations with The Food Disciple. Just go to the header of this blog and search for ‘food’, you’d find several recipes.
11: 00 AM – 12:00 PM
You can take out time to screen emails, place phone calls, and return phone calls. Clear out your schedules and try to organize your time, prepare for your meetings, and get yourself to feel stable for the day’s tasks. This will help you figure out what needs better concentration for the day and you can continue from there.
Next thing to do is prepare a to-do list and assign time frames to it because it will help keep you in check. It’s really important that you assign time frames, it keeps you in line and psychologically helps you ensure you meet up to your targets.
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
For the most part, I feel that this is the time when you can get all your work done and you are at the top of your game. Figure out the time that works best for your lunch. For me, 3:00 PM seems to turn out just fine and I’ll explain later in this article.
This time frame is perfect to complete most of your tasks, draft necessary reports, and basically do what your job entails.
Try as much as possible to avoid multi-tasking so that you do a great job. I know a lot of job descriptions express multi-tasking as a must-have skill but, personally, I feel you should be able to commit to doing your best at your job. Multi-tasking may undermine this.
3: 00 PM – 5:00 PM
From most of my research, I have come to realize that 3:30 PM is the most unproductive time of the day, or so they say.
If this is the same for you, doodle and try to complete your remaining tasks if you find it difficult to concentrate at this time of the day. Doodling has a way of keeping your mind relaxed. You may also try out other relaxation techniques.
I usually have my lunch at this time because since I always try to have a ‘great’ breakfast, I feel less hungry as time goes on. But, this is a personal thing; do what works best for you!
Other things to keep in mind is to try to sit straight if you work at a desk. It’s important to be intentional about your activities during the day, but bear in mind that productivity can vary day to day; so relax and try your best to have at least a fairly productive day.
Also, remember to work when you are most effective, and when you complete your tasks within your set time frame, don’t forget to give yourself a small treat. It’s also important to stretch from time to time and possibly take a walk to feel rejuvenated. This is only a guide.
How do you try to stay productive at work? Is there a different way you schedule your time? Please share with us below in the comment section.
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