You know how it is in those last few days before you leave for a vacation? Priorities are crystal clear. Interruptions are not tolerated and distractions are minimized. In fact, you're probably more productive then than you were during the previous month! Why? Because you have a checklist that stands between you and the sandy beaches—you're motivated and focused to get your work done.
Wouldn't it be great to bring that clarity of thought, laser-like sense of purpose and creative vigor to work every day?
You can by taking control of your time and energy with these steps:
1. Clearly understand the priorities of your job, your company and your boss. The work that you do should support those priorities and therefore take precedence, so when you're asked to do new assignments, find out which one is genuinely more important. You'll always have an infinite number of tasks but only a finite amount of time and energy, so spend it where it really counts.
2. Take care of yourself. Without the energy required to function at peak performance, you'll constantly drag throughout your day. Make sure you get the food, water, rest and exercise you need. Just like an athlete in training, you need to prepare yourself for your long-term performance.
3. Eliminate distractions. Phone calls, emails and meetings are constant detours when you're on a mission to get work done. Silence your computer, turn off your phone or send all calls to voice mail, and let everyone know you aren't available during a certain period unless it's a true crisis. Again, ask yourself if the interruption is more important than your priorities.
By consistently using these tips, you will condition yourself and the others around you to respect your time, giving you the opportunity to get the real work done.