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5 Ways to Be More Productive at Work

Thirty-five percent — that's how much productive work the average woman does in an eight-hour day! Women's Health broke down the typical work day in its December issue and found out what we are doing with the remaining 65 percent of our time: Email, 20.83 percent; looking for stuff, 18.75 percent; interruptions, 12.5 percent; Internet searches, 12.92 percent.

Most of you said that you never sign out of your personal email during the work day, and those who do sign out log back in a few times throughout the day. So, we're pretty much all guilty of that one, but what about the other time-sucks that detract from our productivity? Women's Health came up with 20 ways to avoid these traps, and I've selected their best ideas to share with you. Check them out when you


  1. Turn off alerts. The ding of an arriving message throws off your work pace and it can take up to 64 seconds to recover.
  2. Decide whether you need to be there. Decline a meeting invitation if your presence isn't essential.
  3. Observe the 80-20 rule. Anticipate the time-wasters by completing the most important tasks during the first 20 percent of your day.
  4. Reserve the toughest stuff for your prime time. Perform your most mentally demanding tasks between 8 a.m. and noon, and if you're a night-owl, adjust everything to three or four hours later.
  5. Set aside time to organize. Set a time every week or two to do things like clearing out your inbox and filing.


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