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Five Tips to Make the Most of Your Work Day


Merel Dudok van Heel
Published on July 05, 2017
By Merel Dudok van Heel

Endless to-do lists, hours of meetings, little fresh air, and limited daylight. Sound familiar? Each day we stand by the facts and rarely have enough stress and time for everything. How do you handle this? And how do you get the most out of your work day? Some offices experiment with microdosing LSD and some try shorter days, but most of us just try to make the most of our days. Nevertheless, here are a few tips to increase your productivity and send you home with a good attitude after an effective day.

many papers flying out of a typewriter
1. Get Up Early

As tempting as it is to hit that snooze button, nothing is more annoying than a hurried start to the day. You quickly feel that you are playing catchup on all your deadlines. High productivity begins with a good start to the day. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier than usual and take your time eating breakfast, drinking coffee or tea, and even catching up on the news. Watch your whole day benefit from just fifteen extra minutes in your morning. 

2. Do Not

As for the aforementioned endless to-do lists, we think they make us less forgetful and create peace of mind. According to Kevin Kruse, author of '15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management', this could not be further from the truth. The to-do lists make us even more stressed. In his research, Kruse interviewed more than two hundred billionaires, including Olympic champions, academics, and entrepreneurs. He asked them how they used their time effectively. None of the respondents worked with a to-do list. But how can you monitor and survey your work effectively? Kruse offers some tips to make a better use of your calendar.

  • Book time on your calendar for your main work. Then set time aside during the day to put your phone on silent and refrain from answering emails.
  • Make time blocks of fifteen minutes instead of half an hour, you'll find that you get more done than you think.
  • Also reserve time for other activities, such as answering your emails (this doesn't mean answer emails all day between your main work) and unexpected moments (have a sick child, filing, etc). If you're lucky, you'll even occasionally have time for some extra relaxation and creativity.


3. First Things First

Get important things done in the morning. Often, it is tempting to push back your most dreaded projects that are more difficult. According to Laura Vanderkam, an expert in time management, your willpower is greater in the morning. Even if you're not a morning person. Tasks such as team meetings and new staff introductions drains enough energy to ensure that you don't have enough to complete those important tasks at the end of the day.

4. Move

Just after lunch or a long meeting in the morning, inevitably, you're tired. You can't concentrate on the work in front of you that looks like a mountain of activities. Do you relate? Try moving around more throughout your day. In addition to gaining a fresh perspective of your work, you will also avoid a lot of health risks. Research shows that too much sitting is bad for us. A little more movement already provides enormous health benefits. So walk or bike to work, walk a lap after lunch or have your discussion with your colleagues while walking to the office building. You will find that you concentrate better and have more energy for the rest of the day. If you truly cannot make time in your work day to move, then make time in the evening to walk around and meet the recommended daily steps

walking daily recommended steps
5. Take a Break

Some days we work on succession. We have lunch at our desks and we sit for long periods of time. According to this infographic from Quick Quid we function best within ad 57/17 schedule, which means 52 minutes of one thing, alternating with 17 minutes doing something else. In crunch time, working to meet a deadline? Then working an 80/6 schedule probably works better for you. But in short, take a break!

Think about applying these five steps into your every day. Leave behind the never ending to-do list, refrain from delaying projects, and make time for the recommended 10,000 steps per day. The hope is for PR professionals, including myself, to be able to apply some of the above tips on a regular basis. Now I am going to walk around, even in the rain. After all, I am in the Netherlands.


Tags: agency life

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