Do you arrive at work Monday morning and immediately feel anxious? Do you feel like no matter how many hours you work you are still behind because you are always bouncing from one project to the next? Well, if so, you aren’t alone. It’s extremely difficult to juggle multiple tasks; so, here are a few tips that productive people use to help better manage their day:
- Set specific times each day to check email. For the longest time, I was guilty of having my email inbox open on the right side of my computer screen all day. As soon as I received an email, I would stop working on whatever I was working on to read and respond to the email. While this made me very responsive, it also made it impossible to finish a task because I was constantly interrupted. I started setting times to check my inbox. I started with every hour because I was worried about missing something important. But I soon realized that I can check my email every two to three hours. If something is truly an emergency, the person will call.
- Make a to-do list and stick to it. Make a to-do list that prioritizes tasks. Focus on fully completing each task before moving to the next one.
- Tell people when you’re too busy to chat. If you’re in the middle of an assignment and a coworker comes by to tell you about her date last night, it’s ok to tell her that you’re on a deadline but as soon as you’re done you will come by to hear all about it. Don’t be afraid to fiercely protect your time.
- Put your phone away. Sometimes, we get flustered because in the midst of completing a task, we are also answering text messages, looking at social media, and reading the latest news on the government shut down. But, when you are trying to complete an assignment, these distractions just add to the already-present anxiety. So put your phone in a desk drawer or rest it face down on your desk so that your attention is not disrupted with every notification. Get in the habit of looking at your phone during designated breaks.