1. Email yourself. – Without fail I remember something important that I need to do at work the second I get home. When I am at work I cant focus because I just remembered something important I need to do at home. As soon as I hit send my brain space is free to worry about the task at hand.
2. Write a To-D0 list – And then rewrite it. I know it seems counter productive to rewrite a to do list but if you are a human being you know that your priorities sometimes have to change quickly and often. Most people often deal with multiple interruptions throughout the day. Knowing exactly where I am at is imperative.
3. Save Return Phone Calls till the afternoon – Just like you are trying to get through emails and daily tasks in the beginning of the day, chances are the people you are calling are going through the same thing. In the afternoon most of us are more likely to be able to focus on the interpersonal aspects of the task at hand without being distracted. You are also less likely to get someone’s voicemail and in turn get stuck in the cycle of phone tag.
4. Eat a light lunch – Nothing is worse then the post lunch slump. That sleepy feeling slows me down by half or I am completely unmotivated to do anything. See here for my favorite salad these days. I love food so I know I’m going to be hungry (or at least thinking about food) again in the late afternoon. Having a snack on hand keeps me from obsessing about food. I enjoy protein pucks. Have you tried these? Magic.
5. Delegate – Sometimes we feel guilty for passing on tasks to other people. While prioritizing I will often find that there is one specific job that keeps landing at the bottom of the list. I have learned that often times there will be someone else in the office looking for something to do. Delegating has so many more benefits then crossing things off the list. It gives you the opportunity to understand the needs of your coworker, your boss sees you utilizing team work and even if you aren’t completing the task yourself, you are facilitating its completion. You may also be giving a coworker the opportunity to stretch themselves. Just be mindful and use moderation.
With some luck and planning you might even have a moment or two where you can kick back and enjoy the moment.