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Old Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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Default 10 Secrets to Start a More Productive Work Day

10 Secrets to Start a More Productive Work Day

The way you begin your working day sets the tone for the rest of the day, not only in your workplace but also at home. A few simple measures taken at the start of your day can make all the difference to how it ends. Here are some tips to help you get off to the right - and healthy - start.

1. Limit your work-starting routine to 15 minutes

Donít spend more than 15 minutes getting coffee, settling in, looking at newspapers or reading emails. You are often at your freshest and most productive at the beginning of the day. A prolonged morning routine takes the positive edge off and makes your afternoon more stressful. Better to jump into the important work quickly and read the non-essential emails after youíve covered lots of ground.

2. Write two to-do lists

The first should contain everything you need to get done soon. It should be a comprehensive list of short, medium and long-term projects and work, and you should constantly adjust it. The second to-do list should be what you can reasonably expect to get done today, and today only. Be fair to yourself. Factor in the likely disruptions, meetings, phone calls and travel hassles. Make the tasks as specific as possible and assign the amount of time you plan to devote to it. Print the list out on brightly coloured paper; this keeps it from getting lost on your desk. By prioritizing your work and breaking it down into small, achievable pieces, you greatly increase the chances that you will be satisfied with your dayís accomplishments.

3. Take a few moments to assess the dayís emotional challenges

Almost as important as your to-do list is a Ďbe-prepared-forí list. Make an inventory of tough phone calls, boring meetings, challenging customers, frustrating red tape, infuriating rush-hour commutes, droning detail work and other mental challenges you are likely to face. Then accept that they are inevitable and prepare yourself to get through them without anger, frustration or impatience. Remember: itís usually not work that gets us down, but rather the challenges that lie along the periphery of the job.

4. Schedule some social time for mid-morning

You probably work with people whom you like and know well. In fact, camaraderie is what makes many jobs great. So build a ritual into each morning in which you spend a few moments of social time with colleagues. Make it short, at an appropriate time, and donít let the day go by without it. But avoid personal phone calls if you can; they can unexpectedly turn into big time-eaters.

5. Schedule in some reading time

Thereís no job that doesnít require at least some reading, be it about the company, the industry, the marketplace, the economy. Create a ritual that gives you 15 minutes or so to review newspapers, electronic newsletters, industry magazines, company memos and other reading. Be disciplined Ė this is not the time to do online shopping. Youíll find that being up-to-date with your business has many advantages, just one of them being a sense of control about your own situation.

6. Make sure you have the right equipment for a healthy day in the office
If you're deskbound, that means:

- Headphones for the telephone, so that you're not leaning your neck to one side when you talk on the phone.

- An antiglare filter on your computer screen. One study found filters improved the quality of the screen image and significantly reduced the percentage of people suffering from tired, dry, itchy or watery eyes, fatigue and headaches.

- A wrist-rest for your computer so that you can keep your wrists elevated, thus avoiding pressure on the nerves that go through your wrist, which can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you're in sales or customer service, you're likely to be on your feet for much of the day. Comfortable, supportive shoes are just a start. Good socks and underwear, a steady supply of breath mints, and braces or some other support for your back, knees or any other problematic joints are also important.
Finally, establish a safe place to keep your keys, mobile phone and other bits and pieces. Full pockets can affect your posture and movement.

7. Set your watch or computer alarm to go off (quietly) every hour

Set a quiet alarm on your watch or computer to go off every hour. This will be your signal throughout the day to take a break, get up and stretch, walk around the building, etc. But, in an open-plan office, for instance, keep volume low so that it doesnít upset your colleagues.

8. Start your day with a cup of hot cocoa

Research shows that one cup of pure cocoa a day for five days can increase blood flow in the brain, hands and legs, as well as helping to regulate blood pressure. Choose pure coca over drinking milk chocolate to get the full effect.

9. Keep fresh flowers or plants at work

One US study found that live plants increased creative thinking. Keep them within sight, never your computer. Other studies find that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity - possibly because they release extra oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis.

10. Block off 30 minutes on your calendar at the end of the day

It may seem strange to do this at the start of your day, but this will be your time to begin the transition from work to home. During this last half hour of your working day, you can finish answering any emails, update your to-do list for the next day and tidy up your desk.

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Old Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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hmmm cool.
nice share.
i will sure follow them once i get into a job.
By the way, what are the 10 Secrets to Start a More Productive "Exam preparation Day"?
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