1. Don't put off a problem
If there is a call or an email, there are three options: do it, delegate or delete it. In any case, the problem is solved. The fourth alternative, to worry about it later, is not an option, it is just a waste of time
2. Prepare for the next day in the evening
The last minutes of a working day should be devoted to preparing for the next one. This has two advantages: Firstly, you can also finish off the work of the day mentally and start the next day productively.
3. Eat frogs
"Eating a frog" is an American expression for doing the most unpleasant task first. If the crap has disappeared from the to-do list, there is still enough time for the fun, creative tasks.
4. Correctly assess "urgent tasks"
As you sit on a longer task, there is always something "urgent" that needs to be done immediately. Most of the time, these are little things that only stop you unnecessarily. Learn to quickly assess these "urgencies" correctly. Everything that is not really urgent or must be done by yourself should be passed on to others.
5. Don't waste time on meetings
The biggest time wasters in the office are meetings. Traditionally they are a bit like Deutsche Bahn or concerts - they never start and end as planned. Ultra-productive people do not waste time on this. They appear on time for the meeting and disappear as soon as the scheduled time has expired. If you make this clear at the start, in the best case, everyone else will work more focused.
6. Say "no!"
"Mr. Müller, could you still do this here?" Whoever answers this question with "I don't believe" or "I'm not sure" or in the worst case with "Yes" will have a problem in the long run, because then all new tasks will be passed on to him. Therefore, say "No" more often when work is approaching. Scientists at the University of California have also shown that yes-sayers are more likely to suffer from burnout and depression. So be nice to yourself too.
7. Check emails only at certain times
As I write this article, about four to five emails arrive in my mailbox. If I interrupt the writing process and read the email every time, you would probably not be able to read this article until next week.
So: Only check your email when you have completed a task - or set a certain time at which you look in your mailbox. You can prioritize certain senders in your mail program so that no important email from the boss gets lost - you will still receive a notification.
8. Forget multitasking
Okay, let's make it short and painless: you can't multitask. Don't try it at all.
Or scientifically argued: Stanford University researchers have shown that it is less productive to do tasks in parallel than one after the other.
Oh, but you have a special talent for multitasking? The researchers have also examined this. The result: Anyone who thinks they are a good multitasker is even less productive than those who don't think they are talented.
9. Isolate yourself
Do you have an important task that you want to do undisturbed? Then isolate yourself wherever and whatever. Give only one trusted person a number under which you can be reached and let them act as a filter so that you only reach the really important information
We have already advised this twice, but again clearly: Even if you are the smartest and most talented person in your company, you cannot do everything yourself. Submit surplus tasks.
11. Let technology work for you
There is an app for everything these days. And each of them provides you with thousands of status updates, you can spend hours on them. And so will you if you have set your smartphone to work against you.
Instead, you should configure every app relevant to your work so that it works for YOU: The email program should only report important emails from the boss (or at least sort all emails according to their importance), Facebook and Twitter only deliver the updates you need (and no cat videos or lunch pictures) and so on.
Which apps are relevant at all also depends on your job - but the less time you have to search for information yourself, the more you have for the really important tasks - and the more productive you work.