Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The last hour of your work day

When I worked 9 to 5 in an office I knew that if I undertook a project at 4 p.m. it might take three hours. If I waited til the morning, it would take me a half hour.

I'm not exaggerating. I was mostly writing and editing, and that's the toll being tired takes.

So what do you do in that last hour? Larry Alton makes some suggestions.

MONDAY: ORGANIZE YOUR EMAILS: The average person spends more than three hours a day checking work-related email. And I’ll bet that number is even higher on Mondays, when you’ve let your inbox lie dormant all weekend.

TUESDAY: THINK THROUGH YOUR NEXT BIG PROJECT: Sometimes people avoid starting something new after a certain time of day because they know they won’t be able to finish it. If you have a four-hour task, the last thing you want to do is get started only to break your train of thought in the middle when it’s time to go home.

WEDNESDAY: WORK ON YOUR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Being a better professional isn’t all about executing tasks and planning projects. It often pays to take a step back and work on your knowledge, skills, and reputation—and it doesn’t take much effort to do it. Work on becoming more of a thought leader in your industry by catching up on the latest content in your niche.

THURSDAY: DECLUTTER YOUR DESK: There’s research that implies that creative, intelligent people tend to be messier. However, there’s also a study that shows that clutter distracts you, inhibiting your overall productivity—plus, I doubt it’ll go very far in impressing your boss.

FRIDAY: MAKE A SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK: The most successful people create and adhere to a schedule. Not only will it save you time in the days ahead, it can help you transform a “meh” afternoon into a plan to be productive moving forward. That, in turn, can boost your mood and positively affect your momentum.

He offers suggestions on how to get started on each.

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