How to Structure Your Workday to be the Most Productive

How to Structure Your Workday to be the Most Productive 

Staying productive throughout the workday can be difficult for some workers to maintain in their day-to-day lives. According to Zippia, the average employee is productive for 66% of their workday which is about 4.8 hours per day. This statistic is even lower for office employees, who are only productive for 31% of their workday, equating to 2 hours and 53 minutes per day.  

For some, it may be overwhelming to think about all the tasks that need to be completed each day. This can lead to workers pushing off work and using their time ineffectively. However, being unproductive can lead to procrastination and late deadlines, causing more stress. Structuring your workday to be productive may seem like a difficult task. In this article, we will go over a few ways you can structure your workday to be the most productive.   

Figure Out When You Are The Most Productive 

When it comes to productivity, everyone is different. Some people may find that they are more productive in the mornings, and others may find that the afternoon is when they accomplish the most. Regardless of where you fall, it is important to identify when you are most productive so that you can structure your days accordingly. 

The best way to determine when you are most productive in your workday is to pay attention to your working habits throughout the day. Take note of the times you may feel most energetic, focused, and attentive. Similarly, note the times you feel tired, overworked, or burnt out during the day. You likely may already have an idea of when you are most productive based on habits in your life outside of work. Do you normally describe yourself as a morning person or a night person? This may hold true for your personality and productivity in the workplace. Once you identify your most productive time, it is important to set your schedule around it. Schedule meetings during the times that you are less productive and plan to tackle challenging tasks when you are most productive.  

Use Technology to Your Advantage  

In most workplaces, you will have access to different technology tools to help you plan out your workday. Most people do not maximize the technology available that can make their workday flow better. Just like how people are productive in different ways, there are different tools that you can use to aid in productivity. This includes calendars, to-do list tools, online time management clocks, etc. To make your workday more productive, leverage these technologies to your advantage. 

It is important to set aside time for each of your tasks throughout the day to ensure that you are staying on track for tasks to be completed. If projects are taking longer than expected to complete, be sure you are allocating time effectively for other projects that need to be completed, and reprioritizing those that may not need to be a top priority anymore. Take the time at the end of each day to lay out tasks to be completed for the following day on these platforms. This could include creating new to-do lists or scheduling time for specific tasks on your calendar.  

Work on Challenging Tasks First 

Another way to schedule your day to be the most productive is to address your largest tasks first rather than putting them off to later in the day. Challenging tasks will often take the most amount of time, and it is vital to start them when you are most productive to maximize your workflow. Tackling difficult or time-consuming tasks first not only helps you cross that item off of your to-do list, it also enables you to plan the rest of your day accordingly.  

Additionally, when you complete a large task early on in your workday, you avoid the dread of procrastinating and give yourself the momentum to complete other small tasks. Challenging tasks may be big projects with strict deadlines. By working on a large task first thing, you allow time for ample review to ensure that the quality of work meets the standards that it needs to. In addition to productivity benefits, knocking out large, challenging tasks first can give you the satisfaction of having a productive workday.  

Make Time for Breaks 

Taking breaks throughout the day is a vital step in making your workday productive. This often-overlooked time can lead to burnout and low performance in the workplace if not implemented throughout the day. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that pausing work throughout the day can improve well-being and also help with getting more work done.   

To increase workday productivity, set time in your calendar to take a break at least once during the day. Your lunch break should not be used as this break. Breaks throughout the day should be taken away from your workspace to make sure that you are separating yourself from your work. There are many ways you can choose to spend your breaks. You can get up and stretch, take a quick 10-minute walk, have a quick chat with a coworker, or catch up on your phone. All of these examples will take you out of your work headspace and prevent you from experiencing burnout throughout the day. 

Review Your Progress Throughout the Day 

It is important to review the progress you have made with your work throughout the day. This task allows you to see all that you have accomplished so far, and what you have yet to complete. Checking in with your progress also allows you to restructure the rest of your day in the event that projects aren’t being completed on time. Reviewing your progress also allows you to account for any unplanned projects or priority shifts that have come up throughout the workday. A good time to review your progress is midway through the morning and midway through the afternoon. This will allow you enough time to restructure or reprioritize if needed, without feeling overwhelmed for the rest of the workday.  

Set Priorities for the Next Day 

The best way to set yourself up for success is to set priorities for the next day based on what you have left to accomplish. Take the time each day to write down your top 3 to 5 priorities for the next day. This could include small and large tasks or projects. By providing yourself with a list of tasks to complete the next day, you can save yourself time and stress in the morning, allowing you to easily focus on accomplishing the tasks for the day. It is important to leave yourself a mix of challenging and non-challenging tasks to ensure that you maximize the time you are most productive and not overwhelm yourself with too much work. By doing this, you will be able to control your productivity every day.  


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