It seems we’re all trying to fit more into each day. It’s no wonder they call it a “rat race”! But if you’re trying to accomplish more without feeling as if you’re just a rodent running in circles on a wheel, it’s not necessarily matter of doing more each day but in making smart choices so that you do what needs done as efficiently as possible. Try incorporating these 5 approaches to better productivity:

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  1. Get more sleep. It may seem like the exact opposite of what you need in order to accomplish more, but if you’re running on empty, you’re not as focused. Take the advice from Arianna Huffington on Inc.com: “Drop everything and go to sleep.”
  2. Stay focused on a single goal. Rather than jump from task to task never really accomplishing anything or seeing anything through to completion, take this Open Forum advice from Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com, who recommends picking one thing and doing it better than anyone else could: “We can derive a great deal of power from developing a laser focus on our top business priorities. It’s one of the attributes that sets apart the average businessperson from the more successful one.”
  3. Turn off your email. Email can be one of the most distracting tools preventing us from getting anything done. And no matter how much time you spend responding to email, putting out the fires that come to your inbox each day, there will always be more. Gina Trapani, founder of ThinkUp, suggests only checking emails at specific times each day and tells Muse it’s a good idea to shut off notifications or do whatever you need to do in order to keep from becoming a slave to your email.
  4. Exercise more. Patrick Dolan, EVP and COO of Interactive Advertising Bureau, tells Fast Company, “I love to run in the morning before I get into work. Running clears my mind, gets the blood flowing and ultimately makes me much more focused and productive.” If an early-morning run isn’t your style, a mid-day workout can also work to keep you energized, healthy, and capable of staying focused.
  5. Learn to say no. No matter how much you want to do it yourself, serve on one more board, or accomplish it all by yourself, you need to respect your own limits, allow for downtime, and learn to say no.

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If you are feeling less productive than usual, perhaps it’s time to assess how much of your time is being stolen each day that you can reclaim with these simple changes. How do you stay focused and more productive?


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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