A typical office worker largely spends his day on distractions such as surfing the internet, taking breaks, socialising with co-workers, processing irrelevant emails, playing games and daydreaming. Does this sound like you? You are not alone. Many studies have shown that your productivity doesn’t last more than 90 minutes. Follow these steps to increase productivity and get maximum work done in the first 90 minutes of your day.
1. Pick a Theme
Instead of doing random actions, pick a singular theme for your 90-minute block. This will help your brain to focus and bring out your maximum efficiency. Avoid working in a team for your 90-minute block as you can not guarantee that others would be as focused as you.
2. Set A Finish Line
You will work faster when you are racing against the clock. But instead of chasing work deadlines, set your own 90-minute deadline. Write down what you want to achieve at the end of this. It could be anything from planning out your entire week’s work to responding to emails – setting clear goal works every time.
3. Use First 5 Minutes To Make An Action List
After setting a goal, you need an action plan. Jot down specific sub-tasks you need to accomplish in order to achieve your goal. Checking off each sub-task will give you more motivation to finish the list quickly.
4. Allow Zero Distractions
We are always eager to respond to texts and messages as soon as we get them. This can break your concentration. Keep your phone in flight mode and switch off desktop notifications. Also, tell your colleagues in advance when you start your 90-minute block so there won’t be any interruptions.
5. Avoid the ‘Grey Zone’ With A Small Break
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, a burst of creativity just doesn’t happen. That’s when we waste time by procrastinating and distractions and end up spending 7-8 hours on a work that could have been done in 90 minutes. If you find yourself in the ‘grey zone’ where you can’t seem to get any work done, get up and take a small 5 minutes break. Eat a fruit or take a short walk around the office complex. You’ll come back more energised and focused.
Don’t: Watch a video on your computer or check social media during your break as it is easy to lose track of time with these activities.
In the beginning, you may not be able to stick to a 90-minute plan. Don’t worry and start small with a 45 or 60 minutes cycle. With time you will find your rhythm and will be able to accomplish a lot of tasks in a short span of time.