5 Tricks to Get More Done in a Day

By Anna Davies, REDBOOK

Accomplish more in a single day with these tips and tricks:

1. Time it right:
Are you an early bird, or do you do your best work after lunch? "Paying attention to when you're most productive can help you manage your schedule better," Shigley explains. Use that period of the day to focus on complicated tasks; during the times you feel less alert, file, catch up on e-mail, or do other tasks that require less brainpower.

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2. Minimize interruptions: Do you find yourself drifting over to the watercooler whenever you see colleagues gathering? "Everyone has interruptions that can chip away at productivity," Shigley says. Brainstorm ways to minimize them, such as confabbing with colleagues only at lunch. You'll stay on task and get projects done.

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3. Take the time to organize: A few seconds used to file away an e-mail in a folder could mean saving an hour of frantic searching in the future, reminds Shigley. Whether it's color-coded folders or a simple to-do list, an organizational system can showcase how together you are and help eliminate stress.

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4. Think ahead: "Always keep an eye on major looming projects," Shigley says. Even if they're months off, spend any downtime doing prep work to avoid a future crush-and impress your higher-ups with your initiative.

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5. Find an ally: You may be putting your nose to the grindstone, but it's all for nothing if no one notices. "An office ally doesn't need to be your boss-it could be another coworker who reports to your boss," Shigley says. Having someone in your corner who can talk up your achievements to your boss is a smart move that will raise your profile.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.