8 ways to have a productive workday

A highly productive workday can be exhilarating. However, contrary to popular belief, just crossing items off your to-do list is not a measure of productivity. True productivity does not revolve around doing more things; in fact, this is the polar opposite of productivity. If you truly want to be productive, you must make an effort to do fewer things. Here are 8 things highly productive people do during their workday:


1. Create a smaller to-do list.

Getting things done throughout the workday shouldn't be about cramming as much as possible into the allotted eight hours. It may be difficult to accept but compiling a laundry list of things into a checklist is not useful. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by focusing solely on the most important tasks.


2. Take breaks.

You know that ache in your head after slogging through a task for several hours? Your brain is using up glucose as a result. Too many individuals interpret this as a positive mood rather than a call to rest. Give your brain some downtime by going for a stroll, getting a snack, working out, or practicing meditation. Making it a point to routinely unwind can help you be more productive during the course of your workday. You'll return revitalized and prepared to work more effectively.


3. Follow the 80/20 rule.

Did you know that only 20% of what you do every day delivers 80% of your results? Remove the distractions from your workday: they have little impact on your total productivity. For example, on a project, systematically decrease tasks until you reach the 20% that produces 80% of the results.


4. Start your day by focusing on yourself.

When you start your day by checking your emails, you allow others to dictate what you do. Set yourself up for success by ignoring your emails and dedicating the morning to yourself, eating a nutritious breakfast, meditating, or reading the news.


5. Eat the frog!

Complete your most difficult tasks when your mind is at its sharpest, if you have any busy work, save it for when your afternoon slump hits.


6. Pick up the phone.

The digital age has resulted in poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and a distraction from more important tasks. People, for example, frequently copy multiple recipients on emails to get it off their plate - don't fall victim to this practice. This is a sign of laziness and distracts everyone else by making noise against the tasks they're attempting to complete. If you receive an email with a large number of people CC'd, do everyone a favor and BCC them on your response. If your email chain has more than two replies, it's time to pick up the phone. Schedule a call to boost your productivity.


7. Create a system.

Create a system for managing items that you know are interfering with your everyday productivity. Do you find yourself checking your emails frequently during the day? Set aside time in the morning, afternoon, and evening to manage your emails. Otherwise, you'll be sidetracked from more vital tasks throughout the day.


8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness

While no one likes to acknowledge it, laziness is the leading cause of lost productivity. In fact, many time-saving techniques, including meetings and emails, are simply means to avoid completing actual work. Focus on doing the most important things as efficiently and effectively as possible.


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