Your morning hours must be productive because as morning turns into mid-day, you will probably experience chaos and mental madness as people ask for a piece of you, project deadlines loom, and undone tasks nag at you.
1. Assume everything will take longer than you think it will so leave a little extra space around tasks with a definite place in time.
2. Give tasks a time frame for completion. Time frames work like deadlines: they give you parameters to work within and you will produce more on a personal level knowing that you have to make decision and finish Section X of the project by 2:00 p.m.
3. Using the same time frame principle, when someone wants a piece of you and you get engaged in a discussion, use this phrase, “I have 10 minutes. Can we handle this in that amount of time.” This puts the person on notice that you have a busy day but you are willing to take care of them. When the ten minutes has elapsed, then you have a natural way to end the discussion or extend it as you see fit.
4. By clustering similar activities in your planning time, you can get more done even though your mental nerves are getting frayed because the tasks are organized into blocks. One block might be e-mail. Mid-day is a good time to check and return important e-mails, deleting the spam and moving informational e-mails to folders for action at a later time. Another block might be telephone calls. If in your planning time you identified several calls you need to make, blocking them together is a productivity tool. Mid-day is a good time to make or return calls. If you miss the caller, you have additional afternoon hours to try them again.
Try these tips. They will work, but if your mid-day is particularly hectic, then grit your teeth and charge through the madness.