Do you get things done? Or does your to-do list increase at the end of the day? In the era of multitasking, app notifications and instant messaging, focus is a real challenge. Efficiency can easily be damaged. Plus, if you often travel for work, you’ll have another major disruption of your daily tasks. We present you a few small tweaks that will help you work better and get things done. Even while you’re on the road.
1. Adapt your work to your energy levels
Understand your body’s timetable. It’s well documented that successful people are early risers. While this may work for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, it may not help all of us. Instead, adapt your work to your energy levels. If you feel super charged right after your morning coffee, as the sun rises, get the most difficult tasks out of your way. However, if you need a couple of hours to get going at full speed, plan easy tasks first.
2. Plan your day ahead and set goals
Proper planning will help you make better use of your time. The night before spend some time reviewing your to-do list, your calendar, and maybe even your commute. When these chores are done in advanced, you’ll reduce stress the following morning and save some energy and time to do more productive things instead. This is especially useful when you’re on the road in an unknown city.
3. Take the first flight out…
It goes without saying, traveling for work is a major interruption and easily hinders your task list. Whenever possible, choose an early flight for a more effective travel. You’ll experience less queues at the airport and flights won’t split your working day down the middle.
4. …and embrace airplane days
The cramped seat of an airplane might not be the most comfortable space, but it can often be the least distracting. Without phone calls to take or access to your social networks, the hours in the air are a great opportunity to go into hermit mode and get stuff done.
5. Step away from your desk
You don’t need to be chained to your desk to get things done. In fact, you could find a more focused environment somewhere else. Book yourself a meeting room or a go to the cafeteria. The change of scenery will give your tired brain a much-needed boost of energy.
6. Glance over your email before work
The HR department won’t like this one, but make glancing over your email part of your morning routine before work. This will help you anticipate your email backlog, your meetings and reorganize your priorities.
7. Turn off alerts and notifications
That red number over the app icon is a powerful thing. Switch it off to avoid being interrupted by your social networks.
8. But take a break (and check your newsfeed)
Taking regular breaks will give you much needed time to restore your energy, and brief diversions can improve your focus for prolonged periods. Schedule your breaks and reward yourself with a few minutes scrolling down your social networks. But breaks also require discipline, why don’t you try the (10+2)*5 productivity hack?
9. Let’s have a meeting? Think twice
Meetings are incredibly disruptive. Before scheduling a meeting, think twice if you really need it. If you do, prepare an agenda and keep it under the usual one-hour slot. To avoid interruptions, work on a few easy tasks that you can complete before the meeting.