How to Have the Most Productive Work-Week of Your Life

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Write a ‘to do’ list every morning

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a shiny new notebook, here you have it! Start your morning (coffee in hand) by jotting down everything that’s been niggling at you. Start with the most time pressing task and make a list of everything you need to accomplish that day. Recent studies by professors, Baumeister and Masicampo of Wake Forest University have shown that “while tasks we haven’t done distract us, just making a plan to get them done can free us from this anxiety.” [source: The Guardian] Having it all laid out in front of you may be daunting at first, but it’ll be seriously satisfying when you start to tick things off!

Read more: Interview Tips to Land Your Dream Job

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Take a break

It’s obvious, but do we do it? Not often enough! We’re constantly consumed with deadlines and meetings that we forget to take a few moment for ourselves. Tony Schwartz, founder of The Energy Project suggests that we need to make a cup of our favourite tea, chat to a colleague or venture outside and grab a quick snack “every 90 minutes,” as our body actually sends us signals to rest and renew (which we often ignore!) [source: Forbes] Clearing your mind of the task at hand can help to bring fresh perspective for when you return to your desk.

Read more: Inspiring Podcasts for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

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Keep your space clutter-free

Tidy room, tidy mind… right? Sitting in a space that’s covered in clutter is a sure-fire way to stay distracted. Not only will you be focussing more on your surroundings than on your deadline, but knowing that you should probably tidy things up will keep you distracted. Take five minutes to reorganise your desk space, get your files in order and get rid (and recycle!) all of those old papers. This goes for your desktop too! Even just clearing all of your Word documents and files into one folder will subliminally keep you feeling like you’ve got it together. Check out our tips for creating a stress-free sanctuary for a little inspo!

Read more: Mid-Afternoon Fatigue, Be Gone

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Use a time tracker

Ever feel like there’s never enough (or too many!) hours in a day? Keep track of how you’re spending your time. We use ‘Toggl,’ but there’s heaps of similar desktop apps that’ll help you to actually see where your time is being spent. Track your activity over the span of a week and keep a record of what’s taking up the most of your time.

Read more: Gig It ‘Til You Make It: 8 Side Hustles You Can Do In Hong Kong

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Manage your inbox

If you often find yourself drowning in emails, and constantly stopping what you’re dong to check your inbox, why not try a few of the following tips:

  • Allocate certain times of the day to check through your inbox. This could be every half an hour, or twice a day. Devote your time to just working through your emails and nothing else.
  • Turn off all notifications. Seeing hundreds of emails pop up on your phone or in the corner of your screen is a sure-fire way to get distracted and induce email anxiety!
  • Sort your inbox into categories; those which need an urgent reply and those which will take more time to respond to. “Try the “two-minute rule,” as popularised by David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done.” If you can dispense with an email in two minutes, do it now; if not, do it later at a scheduled time.” [source New York Times]

Read more: How to Get a Pay Rise

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Just get started

Make like Nike and ‘just do it!’ Stop thinking about it and get started. There’s nothing worse than mulling over something. The faster you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the quicker it’ll be over and you may just find that the task is not as gruelling as it first seemed. Invest in a good pair of headphone and pop on your favourite playlist to get you going. You’ve got this!

Read more: 8 Lessons to Help You Take Ownership of Your Job

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