Do you find yourself not accomplishing as much at work as you would like? You start your day off with a list in your mind of what you want to accomplish, yet at the end of the day, not much has been finished.
Here are a few suggestions.
1. Start with a list of tasks that need to get done. Tackle the hardest one first. This is the one you will often put off and not achieve. Why not get this done and out of the way. You will feel a sense of relief. After that keep going down your list and crossing things off. There is just something empowering about crossing things off a list. Anything you don’t get done, add to tomorrows list. Keep your lists till the end of the week. Is there one or two items that you just keep adding to the next days list? Ask yourself what is it about this task that I don’t want to do? Is it to large, perhaps you can break it down into smaller tasks. Do you not know how to accomplish this task? Perhaps you should seek out some guidance from a professional in this area.
2. Make a schedule for each day and break the day up into time slots that you will work on certain projects at specific times. For example Monday from 9-11 return work phone calls, from 12-2 work on social media plan. For the first week or two keep track if you actually follow your schedule, if not write down why. Perhaps Mondays are more of a crisis day from the weekend. The following week I would keep that day more open.
3. Schedule fresh air breaks. Go outside for 15 minutes just to see the sun. Walk around and stretch those legs. A change of scenery can do wonders for your motivation. If possible do not eat lunch at your desk. Try and go to the cafeteria or sit at a side table away from your computer. You need to clear your mind and not think about work. If you continue to work during your lunch, you will be more likely to feel drained later on
4. Get an accountability partner. Find someone who you can either call or meet on a regular basis to discuss your goals. You can develop an action plan with this person. You are mutually agreeing to motivate each other. This person should not accept excuses from you. Just as you should not accept excuses from them. You will not want to disappoint this person, so you will feel motivated to finish your list.
Being disciplined takes time. Finding the right time frame takes time. Give yourself about a month to find the right balance. Things will come up that destroy your schedule and that is fine, just jump back into the routine as soon as possible.
Originally published in the Democrat & Chronicle on March 17th, 2015.