Redesigning Your Practices

Stand OutFew situations can zap your enthusiasm like not having enough time in the day for your to-do list. Unless you get control of your schedule, you could burn a lot of energy without getting the results you want.

Performance matters. In 2014, 52 percent of compensation adjustments were based on performance, according to a PayScale study.

Writing in, productivity coach Casey Moore says your daily rhythms should be maintained, like doing projects in the a.m. if you’re an early riser.

Stay on track and build breaks into your day to help your brain refresh.

Tame your in-box. Average office workers spend 2.6 hours a day reading and answering email. Laura Stack author of What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do recommends  setting up sound alerts to define which emails need immediate attention (the boss’s). Using filters in Outlook or Gmail, funnel away messages that are less pressing will help you avoid interruptions and avoid the need to constantly monitor your in-box.

You can multitask if you do it right.  Researchers at Stanford have found that doing two things at once is a brain drain. But Bob Pozen of MIT’s Sloan School of Management says it’s OK to pair the right activities. Physical chores like tidying up while checking voicemail pair well. Or you could listen to a conference call while sorting your email.

Open office chatter can be a productivity killer. You can collectively develop a nonverbal signal (hat, headphone, sign) that discourages interruptions. Then decide what issues are worth the break-in, such as a client problem.

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