10 Simple Steps to Exceptional Daily Productivity

Without fail, there are 24 hours in every day, and it is within your power to make the most of them. Jeff Haden writes for Inc. with ten clever tips for higher productivity, drawn from the insights of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.

Better Days Ahead

Every Sunday night, map out your week. The goal of this is to fill up your free time slots with important work, so that you do not find yourself spending too much of the week merely fighting fires. Tasks should be actively partitioned into given time slots to make it easier to adhere to them. Create realistic to-do lists that are actually feasible, lest they become mere “wish lists.” And when scheduling meetings, default to 30 minute meetings at maximum, especially since most meetings can be resolved capably in 15 minutes. Whatever you do, cut out the multitasking. Any illusion of time well spent when doing multiple things at once will quickly evaporate.

Think too about how you can leverage your “edge” time, such as when you are in transit. Scheduling morning calls for your ride to work is smart, for instance. If you start tracking the time you spend on activities in general with an app, you might be surprised to see where your energy gets wasted. When it comes it to lunch, Whitehurst recommends you try to mix up how much time you eat lunch, and what things you try to accomplish while eating. Extra work? Fine. Socializing with new people? Great. Just make the time useful. But remember that when you get home, your family deserves your undivided attention. And once the night is over and it is morning again, consider starting the day with exercise. It can reportedly improve your mood for upward of 12 hours.

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