Many of us spend an unnecessary amount of time each day browsing through our email, checking our social media accounts, and doing a number of irrelevant online tasks. Others overload themselves with so much work that they have no form of organization, and still manage to get nothing productive done throughout the day.
When you strip your daily activities and organizational structure down to the basics, you’ll get a whole new perspective on what’s really important. This allows you to focus on getting some real progress done during the day, which will you to have more time for yourself and other activities without suffering from stress or procrastination.
Ultimately, everyone finds their own way of working productively. The following tips are meant to reorganize and simplify your work life so that you can explore new schedules and habits with a clean slate. The central idea being that less really is more.
Prioritize your tasks
If you could only get one thing done today, what would that be? In other words, what is the most important thing you need to accomplish for the work day?
Once you’ve figured that out, make sure that task is at the top of your list of things to get done. Then, get to work on it! It’s very easy to accomplish various small tasks throughout your day that detour from your ultimate goal. Yes, you need to call back that client. Yes, you need to respond to emails. But is that the most important thing you need to have done?
If you start with tackling what’s most important, then at the end of the work day you’ll be more productive and feel more accomplished.
Clean up your email
Try unsubscribing to any totally unnecessary newsletters that keep piling up in your inbox. Also, make sure that you turn off needless notifications and updates from social media and bookmarking sites. Anytime you get a spam message in your inbox don’t just trash it, make sure you label it as spam. That’s what that spam button is for! Right there you’ve just eliminated at least 50 daily emails.
Next, try and set up some filters that automatically organize and send messages like bank statements, bills, and other regular emails to designated folders that you create. Then, at a scheduled time throughout your day, read through these emails. This is another great way to better prioritize your daily tasks. The temptation to get sidetracked is just too great, so make sure you categorize as much as you can!
Clear your desk
A clear work environment reflects a clear mind. Try stacking up all those loose papers and trash as much of it as you can. It’s amazing how many expired coupons, brochures, junk mail, and other clutter I accumulate on my desk in a week without clearing things up regularly.
Try going paperless and keep many of your documents saved on a thumb drive or a portable hard drive. Whether you work at home or in an office, make sure you schedule 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to tidy up your work space and throw out anything unnecessary.
You can also do with this with your computer desktop as well. Your desktop is just as much a part of your work environment as your actual desk. Get rid of any shortcuts to programs that you don’t regular use. Make sure that you always save documents into categorized folders, instead of directly onto your desktop screen. Also, make sure you close any open tabs or windows that you’re no longer using on your Internet browser or desktop. And finally, remember to regularly delete any unnecessary files and programs you might have off of your computer’s hard drive. Not only will this make you more productive, but it will also make your computer run faster.
Remember to keep it simple and organized. Businesses will always be more productive this way. In what ways do you organize your business lifestyle? What suggestions do you have to make the workday more productive?
Vincent Clarke is a blogger for USB Memory Direct, a leader in the promotional usb drives industry. As someone who works in marketing, he enjoys learning and blogging about new, creative, and effective small business marketing techniques.