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5 Tips for Staying Productive

The Management Centre

How do you stay productive when you have lots and lots of different streams of work coming at you at the same time?

We asked =mc’s Marketing Manager, Anna Esslemont. Anna often has to manage many different streams and types of work at once, but she keeps her cool. Here are her top five tips for staying productive.

  1. Use a solid daily list. A no-brainer; you must start with a todo list. I use a prioritised actions list on a daily basis. It’s far more useful in actually making me prioritise actions that need to happen in my day instead of just have a long list of things to do which is usually rather daunting and ends up with hardly any tasks getting done. Know what you want to do in the day, and get it done before you leave.
  2. If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it there and then! Something I learned on the Managing Multiple Priorities programme and which I religiously do now is if an email lands in your inbox that you know will take you less than 5 minutes to respond to or action, then do it there and then, file it away and it’s done. Don’t just leave it. If you do, all the little 5-minute emails pile up and then become a major task.
  3. Have a clear email filing system. I’m very strict with my filing system. I categorise all of my emails so if I need to find them, I can do so quickly and easily. I also make sure that if the email has been actioned, I file it. I don’t leave it sitting in my main inbox for months on end clogging things up.
  4. Take a break. If I’m feeling overwhelmed by my workload, I take 5 minutes away from my desk to make a round of tea. My colleagues appreciate it and so does my brain!
  5. Say no. I used to think there would be no way I could say no to a colleague. If you’re in the middle of a piece of work and really can’t help, there are times when, as long as you say it firmly and politely, it really is ok to say no. This article details how: 5 ways to say no.

What’s next?

If you’d like to know more about how you can improve your productivity, have a look at the Managing Multiple Priorities training programme or see further articles in the side bar to the top of this page. Find out about the different ways we can help you on our Learning & Development pages or contact Yvette Gyles, Director on 020 7978 1516.

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Yvette Gyles

About Yvette Gyles

Yvette specialises in leadership, personal effectiveness, change and innovation. Before joining =mc, she worked in HR for several years in both the private and charity sector as an HR...