Good productivity is a sign of smart thinking.
The people who achieve the most during the day typically have the smartest approach to their tasks, they have the right attitude, and they employ the best tricks. Here are a few ideas on how to jumpstart your day and get more work done by lunch.
1. Finish one task right away
Super-productive people complete one task right away in the morning to set the tone and demeanor for the day. It's a level set on attitude that says this is how your day will play out. It's a springboard, and orients your thinking. Even if it's a small task, bang it out.
2. Reward yourself for completing a task by lunch
I'm a big fan of personal rewards. Tell yourself you will head down to Caribou and get that triple espresso as a reward for working hard. Having that motivation dangling in front of you is a good way to knock out extra tasks. Just be sure to take the time to actually get the reward.
3. Kill the bad attitude early
The most productive people in the office have an attitude of productivity. If you go into your day thinking you'll be overloaded, stressed out, and bogged down, you will be. Change your attitude about work and start with the mindset that you will accomplish everything on your plate.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast
You might think breakfast is optional. After all, isn't it better to just dive right into work? Super-productive people eat breakfast. I always eat an egg and some fruit to get a protein and natural sugar boost. Being hungry at your desk can be a distraction. Avoid donuts and unhealthy snacks, though--they can kill productivity.
5. Schedule every phone call in advance
To some, a productive day means one spent making phone calls. And that's OK, but it needs to be predetermined. Schedule your calls, even if it means locking in a schedule in 30-minute increments. When you have a plan, you can achieve the plan. Don't rely on randomness.
6. Then, turn off your phone
That shiny little smartphone is a major distraction for really productive people. Use it only when you actually need to make a call or use an app. Otherwise, power that sucker down, or at least disable the ringer and vibration. For serious work sessions, leave it in the car.
7. Never read a news site more than once
I'm shooting my own foot with this one, since I write about the news quite often. The problem with investing a ton of time reading the news all morning is that you create a habit of distraction. It's OK to read the news once in the morning, then focus on work only.
8. Avoid the downers
Those who are super-productive tend to avoid the procrastinators in the office, the curmudgeons who don't finish anything, the complainers who act like the world is out to make them feel miserable. Nod at them in the hallway; avoid them everywhere else.