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Workaholics Anonymous: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Day

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

We all know what they say about all work and no play. But, in today’s 24/7 world where most of us have to work, either to keep up with the bills or the Jonses, can leave Jack and his Jane feeling not only “dull” but entirely drained. Not to mention that it can also seriously hamper progress.

Here are just a few ways to make sure your days run smoother than usual.

1. Pace Yourself: While most of us CAN effectively multitask, some suggest that it may not be the most productive way to make progress. Instead, experts suggest setting aside specific times or time blocks for specific tasks. For instance, have a certain time frame in your day where you make and return call, encouraging those you do business with to call during these designated hours. And, don’t forget to set up your voicemail, email, and automated responses for times when you’re just not ready or able to take the call or answer the client.

2. Stay focused: The best way say experts to complete a task quickly and efficiently is by giving it ALL your “undivided” attention. And, that means “no” distractions. Complete one thing or task at a time then take a short breather and move on to the next.

3. Keep priorities short and sweet: Fight one “battle” at a time, if you want to “win the war”. And that means minimizing your “must-do” list. Start your day with the most time sensitive projects or those demanding your full focus and attention and work your way to less time and attention-sensitive tasks. But, try to limit your list to no more than five items each day. And, try to avoid getting a jump start on the next day or the rest of the week. Instead use that extra time to “unwind”, focus on something different or shift your attention to your family and yourself.

4. Share the load: Sure, to a certain extent, okay, perhaps, a great extent, “if you want something done right, you have to do it YOURSELF”. But, that may leave you feeling burnt out and unable to enjoy your accomplishments. Ask for help, and accept the help you get even if it not 100 percent on par with YOUR (high) standards.

5. Don’t worry, be happy: Remember the more you stress, the quicker you age and the less you get done. Instead try to look at the bright side, even when things don’t go as planned or don’t go right. Try to look for inspiration in finding a way to get you work done and done more efficiently and effectively and then pat yourself on the back for keeping your cool and a job well done.

6. Get Organized: Papers tend to pile up and desks tend to clutter, but try to put everything in its place as its used and certainly by the end of the day. This, say experts will help make it easier to find things and to do your job, especially at the beginning of the next day. And, remember, just like having good customer service skills, having a positive attitude toward organization is simply good business practice.

7. Ban behaviour that calls for burning the midnight oil: Staying up late or all night long won’t necessarily help you accomplish your goals. In fact, it’s more likely that because of being overworked and tired you’ll make more mistakes (some that may cost your money or worse, a client) than if you call it a day (or night), take a break, and get a good night’s sleep.

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