One of the best things I've implemented to boost my productivity at work is Tac Anderson's GTD hack. The part that helps me the most is writing out what my day will look like, hour by hour.
Lately—and you'll notice this per the notes below—I've been taking a page from another productivity master's book: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Here's what Wilson said he did during halftime at the Super Bowl that helped the Hawks keep momentum going into the second half:
I took my whole uniform off, I took a shower and everything — we had about 45 minutes. So I took a shower, I re-taped everything, got my arm stretched again — we got into a whole ‘nother stretch again. So that kinda restarted our minds. And so we came out of halftime, it felt like it was a brand-new game.
I don't always have the luxury of a 45-minute break in the middle of the day at work, but on days when I do, I make a point to take a break. I'll go out for a walk, get lunch, whatever, and when I come back, I re-evaluate what I have to do for the rest of the day. I treat the second four hours like it's a whole new day. Here's what it looks like:
The effect is twofold: (1) It makes the day seem shorter, since it's broken up into two manageable chunks; and (2) it helps me focus on the absolute must-do stuff, because rather than having eight whole hours! to do whatever I need, my time appears more limited.
Try it out this week. Write out the first half of your workday tonight, before you go to bed, and then re-plan the noon/1-5 p.m. half of your day at lunch tomorrow.
(Note: This post originally appeared on Paul's personal blog.)