As a hard-working, productive member of your company, you may enter your place of work each day with the attitude that you will finally accomplish all those lingering to-dos once and for all. You sit down at your desk and turn on your computer with that can-do attitude, ready to let your most productive self shine. But then, the distractions seep in. During your morning meeting, you decide that your Google Meet office background needs an update. A promotional email reminds you that you’ve yet to purchase your BFF’s wedding gift, and what should have been a brief coffee break turns into a half-hour chat with your work buddy about the merits of early morning workouts versus post-work exercise.
Yes, distractions are everywhere. The good news is, there are dozens of ways to overcome them and to maximize your workday. Below are a handful of tips to help you get started.
Planning Your Day
First things first: You need to develop a daily routine and learn how to optimize it. Having a daily schedule in place is important for so many reasons, the most notable of which are as follows:
- Schedules help you prioritize your tasks in order of most to least important.
- They help to free up time and energy for those tasks.
- They give you the momentum you need to persist with your workload until you complete the day’s most pressing to-dos.
- They set the foundation for a healthy work routine that eventually reduces the need for willpower to remain productive.
Though your schedule will look different each day, there is a certain formula you can use to make the most of every day. The most successful businesspeople recommend beginning each day by making a list. Combine related tasks (for instance, change your Microsoft teams virtual background five minutes before your morning meeting instead of afterward to avoid spending too much time on the task) and make use of all available tools.
Eat the Frog
Busyness is not the equivalent of productivity. “Productivity” entails accomplishing your most important tasks each day. Unfortunately for many people, those tasks happen to be the ones they dread the most. While you may prefer to begin your day by answering emails or changing your office background for Zoom, those tasks contribute little, if not at all, to your end goals. They also do nothing to ease your stress over that looming to-do. To clear your schedule and your mind, begin each day by “eating the frog.” You will be so much more productive for it in the long run.
Why Taking Breaks Is Important
The most successful people know that breaks are not a luxury — they’re a necessity. Researchers have found that the brain and body crave breaks after 90 minutes of focusing on intense work. So, schedule your work in 90-minute chunks and, once that 90 minutes is up, step away from your screen and your desk for at least 15 minutes. When you return, you will do so with renewed focus and motivation.
It’s so important to approach each day with the goal of being as productive and efficient as possible. However, it’s also important to have fun at work. If you’re looking for a constructive way to put a bit more pep into your workday, play with branded virtual office backgrounds for your team video calls.