Do you ever wonder how your impeccably dressed, cool and confident, universally beloved coworker gets it all done? Do you ever watch out of the corner of your eye while she chats by the coffee machine and then ends the conversation at exactly the right moment before getting back to work? Do you watch him finish his reports and then scoop up his belongs and step out the door at five while you’re still chained to your desk by yesterday’s deadlines? If you’re looking for ways to increase your efficiency and make the most of your working day, consider the five tips below.
1. Wake Up Properly
Take control of your morning. Sleep with the curtains open so your natural clock adjusts to the rhythm of the sun. Keep your sleeping space cool, uncluttered, and wake yourself up gently. If you hate your blaring alarm, stop using it. Don’t let the first minute of the morning be the worst minute of the day.
2. List and Plan
If you don’t like listing and planning, stay flexible and give the process another try. When you wake up, make an actual list for the day ahead using a pad and pen or your smartphone. Add items to the list and cross them off throughout the day. Make yourself do this for one week and evaluate the results before you go back to your old methods.
3. Track your Movements
You can often recognize inefficient people just by watching them move around a room. Tune into your own movements and take a close look at how you get things done. Do you walk back and forth across a room five times to execute a simple task? You won’t know until you actually observe yourself. Reduce the number of motions you put into each task, and apply this exercise to other aspects of your day.
4. Stop Overthinking
If you put off returning a phone call for three days, you’ll make that painful call in your mind over and over countless times before you actually do it, and a five minute call will become a three-day ordeal. Don’t subject yourself to an unpleasant experience more times than you need to. Protect the quiet and tranquility of your own mind the same way you protect the quiet and order of your home, your bed, and your workspace. Guilt about the past, helpless worry about the future, and five unpleasant minutes on the phone should be cleared away like the clutter that they are.
5. Go to Bed
Late night hours spent talking with your children and loved ones are hours well spent. But late night hours mesmerized by the TV because you’re too tired to turn it off and go to bed are not. TV paralysis ruins more mornings, and consequently more workdays, then almost any other aspect of our lives. Just turn it off. Set a bedtime (try 10:30 PM) and commit to that time just as you commit to any other serious appointment. Then observe a magical transformation in your mornings, your attitude, your productivity and your overall health.
For more tips on how to manage the increasingly complex, busy workdays that are becoming the signatures of modern life, reach out to the staffing and employment experts at PSU.