Use Your Motivated Time Wisely. Everyone has a time of day that they work their best, more willing to pursue a new task or take on stressful tasks. Pick a few tasks on your list that you aren’t looking forward to and do one in the morning, midmorning, mid-day, afternoon, mid-afternoon and late afternoon. Make notes about how the project went and how difficult it was to stay focused. Once you’ve found your time, avoid scheduling meetings and stay away from your email to ensure that you’re making the most of your time.
Avoid Email Notifications. The sounds, the popups, all of it. They aren’t helpful, just distractions. Even if you “ignore them”, they’re there tempting you to stop working. Make checking your email a recurring task, three to five times throughout the day. You’d be surprised how much work you get done when you aren’t constantly stopping to read and respond to emails and notifications.
Take Breaks. A quick walk around the office or parking lot or getting up to grab a cup of coffee will give your body and mind a chance to relax. Studies have found that people who take breaks accomplish more, so go ahead and go for a stroll when you’re feeling overwhelmed or unfocused!
Break Big Tasks into Smaller Pieces. Instead of writing, “start project” on your to-do list, break it into smaller pieces. Give yourself deadlines for each piece and the project won’t seem so challenging by attacking it step by step.
Set Deadlines. This is very important when it comes to finishing tasks. Deadlines give a better understanding of how intense your energy should be when doing that task. It will determine when and where it will fall on your to-do list. If you are delegating tasks, be sure to give deadlines. Nothing motivates someone like a looming deadline.
Banish Perfectionism. If you want to be productive and cross tasks of your to-do list without carrying over any tasks to the next week, you have to let go of perfectionism. If you’ve put your work into something and you’re proud of yourself, shouldn’t that be enough? Editing something 14 times but after the first several drafts, the only person who will notice the changes will be you.