The secret to optimising your productivity at work is to plan. A well planned day can make an otherwise daunting challenge look like child’s play. We tell you how to get the most out of your 9 to 5 work day.

Eliminate useless meetings

Learn to distinguish between an important meeting and a useless one. A meeting with your manager for example is very important whereas a meeting to discuss which colour to use for a newsletter is not. Time is money so learn to use it wisely, especially when it comes to managing your deadlines.

Start your day with a to-do list

Most computers have facilities to create a list, whether it’s stickies, your calendar or Google tasks. Use these resources to your advantage by making lists of the tasks you need to do. Start with the easy tasks and then tackle the difficult ones. If one of your difficult tasks is too large, break it up into smaller pieces. You’ll be surprised how satisfying it is to cross off tasks you’ve completed.

Breathe between tasks

Studies have shown that desk bound employees who work more than eight hours a day, and don’t take a break, have less energy than those who do. If you don’t have a great amount of energy you won’t be very productive so take a few breaks during your day; it’ll leave you energised to focus on what matters.  

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D is for... wait, what is Facebook saying?

Distractions are just that, distracting. Cut out anything that takes you away from your work such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Chat, StumbleUpon and any other social media sites that you can’t say no to.

Prepare the night before

The little things really make a big difference the next day. For example, decide what you’re going to wear the night before; this will save you the anxiety of feeling rushed and confused in the morning. It also helps to pack lunch and snacks in the night before, and basically do everything you can to make the next morning run like clockwork.

You know what they say about the early bird...

If you don’t get enough sleep the night before work, chances are you’ll be less than productive the next day. Get an early night’s sleep and try to start work earlier. Not only will it help you be more productive, you’ll feel happier and perform at your best. 

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