How To Structure Your Day To Make You More Productive
Moms always like to say that the best way to start your day is to tidy up your room and make your bed. A clean room is the start to a clean life! However, your mom (like mine) probably left out any ideas on how you should start your workday. Most of us do the same mechanical things when we get to the office desk. Power up the computer, grab coffee, check and respond to emails for the next hour. Sound familiar? But what if this isn’t the BEST way to start our workday? Ron Friedman’s book “The Best Place To Work” has some ideas for how to get the most out of your workday, making you more productive.
A slightly surprising idea that Friedman makes note of is that when you arrive at work, the first three hours will be the most productive hours during your day. Those hours shouldn’t be spent doing the more mundane tasks you have to complete. Friedman actually suggests that before you do any work, you sit down at your desk and plan out the day’s objectives. What else must you complete today other than responding to emails and listening to voicemails? Any meetings, collaborations, or items that would need a real productive attitude to complete should be done during your first three hours in the office.
We’ve all been there, the 2’oclock workday blues. No matter how much coffee you’ve had to drink, or how hyped you are about clocking out in a few hours, the hump in the afternoon is always one that’s difficult to get over. Friedman acknowledges this hump in the day, but again has a couple of great ideas to make even these slothful hours become productive. His research has shown that while we may not feel incredibly productive, this hump is actually one of our most creative stages in the workday. So instead of spending that time checking Facebook, begin to work on some of your more creative projects. Friedman also suggests using this time of the day to have your collaboration meetings.
You may think that just because you’ve left the office, you’re not longer working. The truth is, however, that many of us continue to think about work even after we’ve left the office. Friedman says that the best way to deal with post workday thoughts is to plan a workout session. Not only will this give you time to think a little more about certain topics you’re figuring out, but it also gives you time to unwind. Don’t think that you need to be awake at 5am to get a workout session in. Friedman says that in actuality (unless you REALLY enjoy waking up that early), you’re going to make yourself more unproductive by trying (and then probably failing) to keep up with a schedule you won’t enjoy. He also suggests looking into any workout that will be enjoyable to you; don’t feel limited to having to go lift weights in a gym. Dancing, neighborhood walks/jogs, etc. are all great options for your post workday productivity.
Friedman gives great insight and ideas for restructuring your workday to be more productive and get the most from your day.
The three ways you can immediately start restructuring your workday to be more productive are:
- Using the first three hours of your day to be the most productive.
- Switch gears in the afternoon to a more creative mindset.
- Use the end of your workday to engage in a workout to help you wind down and get those last work thoughts out of your head.
Do you find these ideas to be helpful? What are some other ways you structure your day to be productive? Of course, having mundane things like work schedules taken care of by great systems like What Time Do I Work, will go along way to helping you work on the more important stuff.