You want to make every hour count, so you plan your day in 15-minute chunks and prioritize your tasks. That’s smart, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll work productively.
You’ll operate most efficiently if you banish aimless anxieties and the urge to procrastinate.
Here’s a road map to boost your productivity:
Confront, don’t complain. There’s a time and a place to vent your frustrations. But if you deplete precious time during the workday by dropping what you’re doing and talking about your irritations, you’ll dig yourself in even deeper.
If you’re annoyed at a co-worker, don’t complain to whoever happens to walk into your office. Instead, speak directly to the person with whom you’re upset. This saves time and reduces the spread of ill will.
Allot “worry time.” If you grow anxious thinking about all the work that awaits you, then reserve blocks of time to indulge yourself in worry. Don’t let these thoughts creep into the rest of your day—or you may wind up worrying about a job rather than doing it.
Set aside 15 minutes after lunch as your private “worry time.” Have a pen and paper ready and list your anxieties, numbering them in order of importance. This exercise will help you clear your head—and maybe even reprioritize—so that you can return to work free of mental distractions.
Anticipate first, reflect later. If you make a high-profile mistake, you may feel compelled to dissect what happened in excruciating detail. That’s fine on your own time. But don’t waste the day analyzing a screw-up or justifying your decisions to any and all who’ll listen.
Use that time to think ahead. Prepare for projects, such as gathering facts. Or call hard-to-reach people and leave a time for them to get back to you.