We all need time off, so a vacation or even a long weekend are golden. Since we’re not robots, just working all day and having no fun or time off will eventually ruin our productivity.
But, how ca we get back to a productive workflow, after few days of plain relaxation?
Here are some proven productivity tips to get back in the saddle and make a difference:
Set your schedule the day before.
It’s not fun to think about work the night before, but waking up in the morning, not knowing what to do and having no clue about how to best manage your work will clearly work against you.
This is why a bit of planning for the day after won’t hurt.
Before you go to sleep, think about the tasks that are URGENT and IMPORTANT (we’ve already learned about Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix), so you’ll choose exactly what matters most and will have the biggest influence on your career/business.
In the morning, as you’ll drink your coffee or whatever you do to start your day, you’ll know exactly what task to tackle first.
Instead of wasting time and just finding it difficult to concentrate, you’ll go through your tasks list like a rocket.
Keep your smartphone away from you
As you concentrate on your tasks, having your phone near you will clearly distract you from work. You don’t need to follow that Facebook notification now or respond to that retweet.
In most cases phone calls are not really emergencies, so they can wait for at least 25 minutes (if you choose to the Pomodoro technique for instance) until you finish one work ‘chunk’.
Use the Pomodoro Technique to break long tasks
When I have to create a website for a client, it’s a pretty big task. I have to prepare a design mockup, make the edits based on my client’s feedback, then code the design into a responsive WordPress theme, make more edits, prepare the client’s site for relase (install plugins, set it properly etc.).
As you can imagine, this TAKES quite a while, so one or two hours are not gonna cut it.
Breaking the tasks into smaller chunks are using the Pomodoro technique (work 25 minutes, rest 5, work 25 mintes, rest 5 and so on) allows me to do the most productive work possible and finish client’s website faster.
Try to stay under natural light as much as possible
Working under artificial light is not the ideal way to become more productive. If you get the chance, try and stay under natural light as much as possible. Natural light increases your energy levels and attention span.
Answer your emails in batches
Don’t go into your inbox the first thing in the morning and, if possible, don’t keep it open all day long.
Most of the time there’s no real urgency to your emails, although senders would like you to respond in a second.
Handle your emails fast and then close your email client, leaving you with more uninterrupted time for your tasks.
Turn off all notifications
We all use a lot of apps and software, even on our computer. Make sure they are all turned off. You don’t need to upgrade your operating system right now, you can live without your WordPress being updated in the next hour and so on.
Do 3 tasks today
Don’t go overboard with over-tasking.
I’ve noticed that many times I just create tasks and expect myself to fulfill them in few hours. As you can guess, this doesn’t happen, so I end up with many due tasks and a lot of added stress.
Choose 3 tasks only for today. Try to do them and then prepare another list of not more than 3 tasks for tomorrow etc.
These are just few tips to make the most of your first workday after a long weekend or a vacation. You’ll start the week more energized, do productive work and feel awesome afterwards.
What else would you add?