6 Tips to Add Hours to Your Day

Don’t forget to download our {free} to-do list template at the bottom of this blog

Do you ever look around at your co-workers and/or friends and wonder how some people are so much more productive during the week? You notice they always respond to emails and finish projects on time.

They usually are not working 80 hours a week.  They’re so productive because they are a master of time management. Here are 6 tips to add hours to your day…

Create a To-Do-List

Create a to-do list for the day – but then prioritize the list of tasks.  How do you do this? Here are a few ideas:

  • By time: Organized by tasks requiring less than 15 minutes, 15-60 minutes or more than an hour.
  • By importance: “Rocks” and critical tasks; “pebbles” are important, but not critical and “sand” would just be nice to accomplish.
  • By due date: Include tasks for today, this week, this month and this year.

All three strategies help you better organize your day and highlight items you can do on the fly. Crossing off completed tasks one by one is immensely satisfying as well.  If you’re not much of a writer, there are online versions like Todoist, Wunderlist and to use.

Schedule Your Day

Plan your entire day first thing in the morning. Include everything from tasks like emails to hosting meetings or travel time of your commute.  When you time-block your days, the strategy will help you both avoid distractions when necessary and soak up free time because you’ve actually planned for it.

Like Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Get Up Earlier (and Exercise)

Don’t give-in to the impulse to procrastinate.  It is far less stressful to wake-up before everyone else and start tackling your day.  Imagine responding to emails first thing in the morning so you don’t have to worry with this while working.  This allows you to focus on your daily priorities.

Also, even if you aren’t a gym person, getting up earlier and taking the dog for a walk or stretching can set the mood for your day.  It keeps the brain functioning well.

Minimalize Email Interruptions

The CEO of email productivity company Boomerang, Alex Moore, says constantly checking email is one of the biggest distractions.  “Receiving an alert every minute for a new email is productivity kryptonite – not to mention, it takes 64 seconds to recover from being interrupted,” he explains. Instead, set aside 30-minute periods a few times a day when you can carefully read and respond to messages.

One more tip: Create a secondary account for things like newsletters and promotional mail, suggests Maura Thomas, founder of  “Use a Gmail account with automatic forwarding for anything you actually want, like travel confirmations, while still protecting your ‘real’ account,” she says.  It’s like having a personal assistant for your email.

Clear Your Inbox

An organized inbox can save you time and ensure no message goes missing or unanswered.  Set an action plan for your emails each day. Not sure how to do this? Try the Delete, Delegate, Defer Do method:

Delete (or drop). Scan through all your emails for unwanted emails.

Delegate. If someone else can perform a task, delegate it.

Defer.  Some tasks can be done later, but no later than the last responsible moment.

Do. Get the task done now.

Making this a daily habit will save you so much time.

Maximize Your Fridays

Friday afternoons tend to be difficult when it comes to staying focused.  The brain has officially entered a weekend fog and everyone in the office has already left for the day.  This is usually not a good time to schedule meetings or get started on new projects but you can definitely use this time to plan your schedule for next week.  This ensures you hit the ground running on Monday morning and your Sunday evening is much more relaxed knowing you have your days on-task before the week even starts!

Changing your daily habits doesn’t necessarily happen overnight but making small steps every day to ensure your time is better managed is a great investment.  Do you have an interest in Joint Venture Opportunities with BIS? We believe in empowering the community through thought-leadership and education.  Throughout the year, BIS partners with local Gulf Coast organizations to host free seminars on important and relevant business topics.  Let’s work together.

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