Contributed by Angela F.

I feel like I spend time mindlessly wandering through cyberspace.  I would check my emails, go to Facebook, check Twitter then my emails again.  Before I knew it, two hours had passed by and I had got nothing done.  But I turned it around and started some new habits to stay productive.  Now when I wander through cyberspace, I do so guilt-free.

Give yourself a time limit and a to-do list.  When I would start on my journey through Pinterest or Facebook, I used to get sucked in and lose track of time.  Sure I had goals in mind – to find good boards, check some walls for info – but I got so distracted by every ‘shiny’ thing.  Now I give myself a goal and a time limit (I actually set an alarm to keep track).  That way I get to explore and, when the alarm goes off, I get moving.

Prioritize.  My to-do list is huge and the stress of not doing it all got to me and affected my sleep.  What if I can’t finish it?  Relax I would say, but that didn’t work.  Now I ask myself the question, “If I can do only one thing today what would it be?” With this question in mind I go through my list. I find that most of items on my list can wait or, even better, be delegated to someone else.

Check your email only twice a day.  I have a signature on my outgoing email that states, “I check my email at 9 am and at 2 pm.  If you need a response as soon as possible, please contact me at [phone number].”  I have rarely gotten a call from anyone suggesting the requests can wait until later.  A bunch of my co-workers adopted this change and have seen their stress decrease and their productivity increase.

Clear your desk at the end of the day.  It doesn’t have to be perfect but put stuff away.  When I come in to a nice clean desk every day, I feel fresh and energetic.  A messy desk just makes me say “Ugh. Work again?”

What habits have you adopted to up your productivity?