Meetings, interruptions and no system in dealing with tasks won't help you get more things done. On the contrary, organizing your day, eliminating unnecessary interruptions will be beneficial for your productivity and in the end, in getting more things done. We've put together a couple of "principles", which will help you achieve it.
Make a Daily To-do List.
Don't know how to start in the morning? The best way to organize your day and get more things done is to put together a to-do list. Do this before you even start with answering emails, instant messages or else. Give all of your tasks a priority, decide when you're going to do them and start with the most challenging tasks first. E.g. preparing a tailored offer to your potential client needs much more concentration than filling out a questionnaire about a team building. Don't start with the easiest ones - concentrate instead on the more important and demanding ones.
Focus On One Thing - Don't Start With Anything Else.
It's hard to focus only on one thing these days. The office interruptions, calls, instant messages, and more don't help. If it's not essential, try ignoring these things. Focus on the task you're working on and later, when you're finished, deal with the rest. It's tempting to start reading an email when you're working on something else but if you can't resist it, turn off your notifications.
Shut Off Notifications (Especially Social Media).
Notifications distract your attention. To avoid this, shut off all unnecessary notifications - social media, mobile apps, email app, instant messaging or anything else which draws your attention. If it's needed, mute your mobile phone (and leave it in your bag or another room). Don't be afraid of missing out. If it isn't urgent, it will wait.
Check Your Inbox Only a Few Times a Day.
Emails aren't meant for instant messaging. Therefore, if you aren't expecting an important email or discussing something serious, it doesn't make sense to check your inbox frequently. If you receive lots of emails, unsubscribe those who you aren't interested in to reduce the number. You can also switch off notifications for the incoming emails or even turn off the email app if using one. Checking your inbox only a few times a day will save you time and helps you stay focused on the work you do at the moment.
Reduce the number of meetings.
Meetings are more or less your enemy. They take up too much of your productive time. Besides, in most cases, you don't even decide nor discuss the most important things. What's more, one meeting usually calls for another one that is meant to be a catch-up after the first meeting. In your team, try to handle as many things as possible in a written form. This approach enables everyone in the team to react to the questions and comments when they have time.
Don't Start With a Hard Task When You're Feeling Off.
Is it already evening and your backlog is still full of tasks? If there is an easy task to do in your backlog (answer and email, send a document or anything similar), then go for it. However, if you know that finishing the tasks needs your full focus and some time, don't start with the task! You're probably already tired after the whole day, which means that you don't have energy nor concentration at all. In most cases, you would spend hours on the tasks without even finishing it. Schedule the task for tomorrow and start working on it as the first thing when you feel fresh.