The Most Productive Way to Schedule Your Day
The Psychology of Productivity and Your Attention Span
The Pomodoro Technique:
- SET A TIMER FOR 25 MINUTES.
During this time, focus all of your attention and energy on completing the task at hand.
- TAKE A SHORT BREAK WHEN YOU’RE DONE.
Use the break to rest your brain, your body and your attention. You can take a walk, have a cup of coffee or just rest your eyes for a few minutes.
- EVERY FOUR ROUNDS, TAKE A LONGER BREAK.
About 20 to 30 minutes of dedicated rest time can help your cortisol levels reset and sustain your attention for long periods of time when you return to your next set of tasks.
Other Strategies for Increasing Productivity
- FOCUS ON ONE TASK AT A TIME.
Giving your full attention to one task is likely to yield more accuracy and mental acuity and can help with feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
- IDENTIFY YOUR PEAK PRODUCTIVITY HOURS.
Structure your most intellectually demanding tasks for when you’re feeling the most awake and energetic while leaving smaller managerial tasks for times when your brain is in an autopilot mode.
- MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS DURING COMPLEX TASKS.
Shut off access to other inputs like social media, television or entertainment that can pull your attention away from work.
- LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY TO SET REMINDERS FOR ROUTINES.
Using alarms or reminders can help cue your brain when it’s time to start the next task or wind down after a long day.
- BLOCK OFF YOUR SCHEDULE TO AVOID CONFLICTS.
Use a calendar to keep track of meetings, calls or other obligations to protect your most productive hours.
- BUNDLE SIMILAR TASKS TOGETHER.
Streamline your productivity by cutting down on the mental energy required to switch from one task to another.
Maximizing Productivity While Working from Home
Productivity Strategies for Working from Home
- PRIORITIZE A FEW BIG TASKS FOR EACH DAY.
Being realistic about time management can make you feel more accomplished at the end of the day when you’ve been able to check off each item on your to-do list.
- KEEP A RUNNING LIST OF SMALLER, LESS IMPORTANT TASKS.
When you have a few minutes of free time throughout the day, you can make progress on this list.
- RELY ON THE 52-17 RULE.
Schedule 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest to give your brain a break from constant output. You can adjust the ratio to work better for your schedule.
- TAKE BREAKS THAT INVOLVE A CHANGE OF SCENERY.
Whether that involves going for a walk, moving to a different space in your home or running a quick errand, a visual break from your workspace can help you feel more focused when you return to it.