Catchy headline, huh? We swear it’s true, too.
There’s gobs of merit in chiseling away at one of your bad habits for months in order to make a long-term improvement to some aspect of your career. In fact, we champion that approach here all the time. However, we’re also going to make the alternative case that there is nothing wrong with a quick fix that you can implement right now and will provide you with immediate positive results. So the 99U staff and contributors have rounded up seven of our top productivity tips to give you a head start on your next work move.
1. Be No. 1 (into the Office)
Getting creative work done when it’s peaceful and quiet? Easy. Getting up early every day? Not so easy. A humble suggestion: Start small. Break free from the train of people shuffling into the office starting at 9 a.m. by being the first person into work just once a week. You know, the kind of early arrival where you are the one turning on the lights. The easiest way to start is to aim for Fridays. This way you’ve already ticked off your most import tasks by the time your body is tapped out in mid-afternoon and everyone in the office is buzzing about their weekend plans. (And if we’re being honest, it’s way too easy to push late Friday afternoon work to Monday.)
Let’s be clear, still work your normal amount of hours. Just approach them differently. If you tell yourself that you can leave work by 4 p.m. on Friday if you complete your to-do list, chances are good you’ll be done by 3:59! An added bonus? Doing something hard first thing in the morning just plain feels good. Like the endorphin rush from hitting the gym in the morning, you will experience a boost in spirits.
Make it fun too — treat yourself to breakfast and a fancy coffee on the way in. (Work at home? Then creating something by 8 a.m. is your goal.) But for God’s sake don’t send an unnecessary email like, “Hey, Ron, I will be in the conference room if anyone is looking for me” time stamped at 7:45 a.m. when absolutely no one is looking for you. This isn’t a contest: It’s about you feeling good for your extra effort and using your time wisely. To read more from 99U, click here.