Having a hard time accomplishing everything on your list each day?  Do you go home feeling stressed because you didn’t really check anything off of your “to-dos?”  Here are 7 things that you can do to be more productive at work, today!  Like, right now!

1.  While Tim Ferriss suggests, in The 4-Hr Work Week, that you limit email checking to twice a day, this may be unrealistic for you.  Instead, try checking email at various milestones throughout your day, after you’ve accomplished certain tasks, rather than trying to combat them as they come in.  *If you’re really adventurous, turn off that pesky Outlook pop-up that interrupts your concentration all day!

2.  Know yourself and what you can and can’t accomplish and be realistic about the timeframe.  This means pushing back on unrealistic deadlines, both self-imposed and otherwise, but don’t procrastinate!

3.  Don’t try to be a hero.  Sometimes it’s better to produce great results within a reasonable timeframe, than it is to produce mediocre results in a shorter amount of time.

4.  Delegate and ask for help when you need it.

5.  Toward the end of the day, start to re-prioritize what you need to wrap up now and what might be better to tackle first thing the next morning, when you’re more energized.

6.  Many of us are given quarterly or monthly goals, or set them for ourselves, but break this down further.  Each week, figure out three things you’d like to accomplish.  If you’re in content development, one thing might be completing a video asset.  If you’re in project management, one thing may be mapping out a course of action for a set of problems you’re coming up against in the QA of a software program.  If you’re starting a small business, one thing might be setting up your basic 2-3 page website, maybe that will cover all three things depending on how tech-savvy you are.

7.  Set goals on Friday for the following week.  This is the time when what needs to be done on Monday is most fresh in your mind and you will feel more confident wrapping up for the weekend.  Save that hour on Sunday night for some extra family time.  Additionally, creating your “to-dos” or goals on Monday morning takes valuable time away from actually doing what needs to be done.  Why not go into the work week knowing exactly what you are aiming to accomplish?!

– Michele Mavi