Four tips on how to structure your day
Fast-paced workplaces, distractions coming from all directions, busy home life – the daily demands can feel endless. No matter how you spend your day, learning how to structure it can be a total game-changer.
We’ve put together some tips to maximise your productivity and set yourself up for success.
1. Prioritise with purpose
List the tasks you need to accomplish and get prioritising. Use the Eisenhower Matrix method (also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix) to help you divide your tasks into four categories:
- Urgent and Important are top priorities and need attention promptly to prevent last-minute rushes and stress.
- Important but Not Urgent are tasks that should be scheduled for later in the day. Allocate dedicated time to focus on these tasks and avoid the urgency trap.
- Urgent but Not Important are tasks that often sneakily consume time but don't contribute significantly to your long-term goals. Delegate where possible to free up time.
- Not Urgent and Not Important are tasks to minimise or eliminate as they are time wasters that hinder your productivity.
2. Commit to time blocking
Time blocking is a proven technique to enhance focus and productivity. You set aside specific blocks of time in your calendar for different tasks. During these blocks, eliminate all distractions by silencing your phone, closing unnecessary tabs, and letting people around you know you’re unavailable. It requires a commitment to focusing on the task at hand and deeply concentrating on that, and that only until it is complete.
3. Take regular breaks
Everyone needs a little reminder that they aren’t robots. The human brain is not designed to work non-stop. Taking breaks is a crucial part of maintaining creativity and cognitive function. The Pomodoro method is tried and tested and helps you work with manageable intervals – 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. After completing four cycles you take a longer 30-minute break. During breaks, it’s helpful to move away from your workspace, do some stretches, meditate, or engage in activities that recharge you.
4. Lean into flexibility
Although we are talking about structure, being flexible is essential as things can change throughout the day. Ad-hoc tasks, impromptu meetings, or urgent matters can pop up at any time, so you’ll probably need to recalibrate from time to time. This can feel overwhelming but if you allow some buffer in your schedule and lean into flexibility, accommodating these changes won’t phase you at all.
Remember, the goal here isn’t just to complete your tasks, but to accomplish them efficiently, leaving time for more creativity and a healthier work-life balance.