Everyone has the same hours in the day. You can’t except to have as great a resume as Robert Bratt’s profile if you don’t make the most out of the time you have. Kick these habits and watch your productivity soar.
1. Constantly checking e-mail. Try to only check your e-mail during designated time frames. In the morning, when you sit down at your desk; after lunch; and right before you leave for the day are the best times to check e-mail. If there’s something important, you’ll see it and respond to it. The rest of the day, you won’t be distracted.
2. Holding weekly meetings. Unless there’s actually something to talk about, don’t bother with weekly meetings. Instead, only get the team together when there’s enough on the agenda to warrant the time away from work. Even then, keep the meeting as short as possible.
3. Waiting to start your big project. Nothing is gained from procrastinating. The longer you wait to start working on a big project, the more likely it is that you’ll have to do the entire thing in one day. You can’t do your best work when you’re swamped and nervous about a deadline. Break the project into small steps and work on a little bit every day.
4. Only having coffee for breakfast. Try to eat within the first half hour of the day. At the very least, pay attention to when you’re hungry and take a break for breakfast as soon as your stomach starts growling. If you skip meals, you won’t have the energy to be productive. Even eating something small in the morning will give you a boost.
5. Getting less than eight hours of sleep. Being sleep deprived has a major cost. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night. Otherwise, you’ll notice that you can’t focus by the end of the work week. You also run the risk of getting sick, depressed, or both.
6. Working through your lunch break. Take the time away from your desk to breathe and enjoy your lunch! You never know when inspiration will strike, and it probably won’t be while you’re behind your desk. Plus, taking time for yourself sets boundaries with needy co-workers.
7. Assigning the same importance to every task. Prioritize everything you have to do. If there’s something you do every day that isn’t making a difference, consider whether or not you really need to keep it as a responsibility.
Getting rid of unnecessary “To Do” items isn’t about neglecting your responsibilities. To be truly productive, you have to figure out what matters and what doesn’t.