We’ve all experienced the Friday productivity dip, and according to a survey of over 300 human resource managers by staffing firm Accountemps, Tuesday is the best day for getting things done. Around 33 per cent said that productivity markedly improved on a Tuesday, compared to 27 per cent for Wednesday and 14 per cent for Monday. Accountemps senior staffing manager Vitaly Melnik suggests that “you’ve got your head focused after the weekend is over; you’ve caught up on everything; and you can do your regular work schedule most effectively. Then, after the hump of the Wednesday, come Thursday and Friday, and you’re already thinking about the weekend.”
Email, mobile phones, and the internet have made it easier for the priorities of others to intrude on our days. And this perpetual connectivity is far from conducive to on-task efficiency. But scheduling strict blocks of time for high-priority pieces of work, and letting your colleagues know when you plan on being uncontactable, can help manage such distractions. Timo Kiander, who runs the Productive Superdad blog for entrepreneurs, recommends using the Pareto 80/20 Principle as a rule of thumb when deciding how much of your week to time-block. In many cases, around 20 per cent of a company’s customers account for 80 per cent of revenue. Kiander reasons that similar ratios apply to an individual’s working hours and their output; he advises time-blocking the most important 20 per cent of tasks in a week. 3 DON’T FORGET DOWN TIME
No one can work flat-out all week, but James argues that some people’s plans suggest they’re in denial of this. She stresses the importance of setting aside some down time each day.“This might include exercise, meditation, quiet time, reading, self development, or all of the above.” Arianna Huffington famously introduced nap rooms at the Huffington Post, while the chief executives of Vodafone, Ericsson, Disney, Xerox and Citigroup all reportedly schedule in time every day for some early-morning exercise. 4 GO FOR CONSISTENCY
It’s human nature to want to optimise things, but Tony Stubblebine, creator of productivity app Lift, argues that setting your sights too high could kill your weekly plan prematurely. Rather than booking in hours at the gym, followed by a marathon email session, go for achievability: the best laid plans are often the simplest. The integrated calendar
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Planner Plus brings together events, tasks and notes in one place, meaning you don’t need to jump across (or pay for) multiple apps. It comes with a day, week, month and task view, and automatically syncs with iOS calendars. You can also give different tasks one of five priority statuses to help juggle different demands.