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Structuring Your Workday for Better Productivity

Having routine and structure incorporated into your workday can help you stay organized, focused, and on-task. For some, time management can be a struggle, so this is especially important, so you aren’t continually pulled off tasks by distractions. When you get into a routine, things will flow more seamlessly. In today’s blog, we’ll give a few suggestions for how to best structure your workday.


Determine Your Peak Productivity Hours

Establishing your most productive periods of the day are, and planning tasks around those hours, can be incredibly helpful. Are you the most productive and focused in the morning, afternoon, or evening? For many, having a to-do list can help you stay on track and be a reminder of your priorities for the day. When thinking about your most important and labor-intensive tasks, try to accomplish them during your peak productivity time. In an article on Inc., they give the example of someone who is the most productive earlier in the day and how it would look structuring your day that way, writing, “Whenever possible, structure your day so you can tackle tasks requiring focus and concentration as early in your workday as possible. (That’s also the best way to get your day off to a great start.) Or right after lunch, when you’ve had the chance to physically and mentally recharge. Do the same for important decisions. By late afternoon, you’re much more likely to choose lower-effort actions that involve shorter-term rewards. Decision fatigue may cause you to reject an employee’s suggestion simply because it seems like too much work, or cause you to fire a struggling employee just so you no longer have to deal with him. Decision fatigue may cause you to take the safe way out, and disregard a path with significant long-term upside. When faced with an important decision late in the day, take a step back and ask yourself an even more important question: Can I put this decision off until tomorrow morning? In most cases, you can, and should: If the stakes are truly high, the time to make that decision is when you’re at your mental best.” Make a schedule of your ideal workday and evaluate how you can start to reorganize to look more aligned with that vision.

Check-in with Your Team

If you are part of a team, it can be helpful to connect with them once a day to see what they are working on. Doing this can help you stay coordinated and give you a sense of the big picture. During this time, you can also let them know what tasks and projects you are working on for that day, which can be a good reminder and hold you accountable.


Try Not to Procrastinate

As tempting as it may be, procrastination at work can be detrimental to your success and also create unnecessary stress. In his book, “Getting Things Done” author David Allen writes, “Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.”


Live By Your Calendar

Having a thorough and detailed calendar is a great way to structure your day. In an article on Forbes they write, “My motto is, “If it’s not in my calendar, it won’t happen.” Having all work activities on the calendar helps establish how important time is. On a micro level, it allows you to see how much time you have in a day and to get important initiatives scheduled. It also helps eliminate distractions and time spent on things that aren’t as important. It’s easy to get sucked into emails or unscheduled calls, but not when you have a schedule to keep. Although, it’s important to still have time scheduled for emails and calls (which allows you to “be responsive” but in a more organized way). On a macro level, scheduling “milestones” throughout the year on your calendar helps you complete larger goals in an efficient way. Want to be efficient and successful? Use your calendar!”