How to get more done in a day

Now Available - our 2020 Salary Guide
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

With job descriptions continuously expanding, many of us finding ourselves reaching for more coffee and working longer hours to complete our workload. However, what if we told you there were rules you could follow that could help you achieve more in a day? Read on to find out how to get more done.

Break up the day

Donna McGeorge advocates breaking the working day into quadrants, and places importance on “Paying attention to the clock in your body, not just the one on the wall”. Working through a to do list is all very well, but doing the right work at the right time ensures that the quality of the work will be higher. Each quadrant is two hours long, and focuses on different tasks. The first is for high intensity important work; the most important tasks you are employed to do and take the most brainpower. The following two hours are for high intensity, low impact work. This is defined as things that may be more important to your colleagues rather than you, but still require a lot of your concentration.

The third quadrant is for low impact, low intensity tasks, such as filing, processing emails and reviewing reports. There is some research that indicates completing training or learning activities in this time is beneficial. The fourth and final quadrant is aimed at when your alertness levels drop, dedicated to low intensity, high impact work. This time is reserved for tying up loose ends and reviewing tomorrows activities so you can complete any preparation you need to do.

Eat the frog

Mark Twain said that if you have to eat a live frog, do it first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. This principle can be carried over to your to do list! When assessing your tasks, identify the more difficult one and tackle it first. This sets you up for success and frees you to complete the rest of your to do list without it hanging over your head.

Focus on one thing at a time

It goes without saying that if you are trying to work on too many things at the same time, your progress will be slower. Multitasking can sometimes give us the false impression that we are achieving a lot. Make sure to concentrate on one thing on your list at a time. You will cross it off quicker, and the standard that the task has been completed to will be higher.

Write tomorrow’s to do list

Before you sign off, make sure to write a to do list for tomorrow. This will help you to structure the following day, and give you a clear direction. It will also enable you to switch off for the evening, as your mind won’t be in overdrive panicking that you have forgotten a task. That way, you can return to work the next day completely refreshed.

If you find yourself with a never ending to do list and none of these tips help, it may be time to hire an extra pair of hands. Plus One have been bringing people and jobs together for over 17 years, and can help you to fill a vacancy in your team. Click here to find out more about our offering.