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This is a nagging question in today’s fast-tracking world, and many answers still escape us (guess we don’t have time to search correctly). But after some research, we’ve arrived at certain basic conclusions that seem doable.

The first keyword is FOCUS.

Part of the modern rat race, as we just noted, tends to throw us all over the place before we can finish executing the to-do lists so often recommended by expert organizers. To-do lists can be useless, even damaging to our productivity, if we are constantly distracted from our goals by cell phone dings, text messages, and unsolicited solicitations. To-do lists often provide only overwhelming pressure and stress.

So, focus, friends. Stick to the gun at hand unless there is a fire in the building. Assign yourself a period every day when you’ll be unavailable to callers, testers and any interruptions of the kind. Ideally, prioritize just three big items on your list to be done today and assign a deadline to each. It’s also good to remember, if you try your very best to complete all tasks, that if you don’t, nobody is going to die.bb

Next comes the TIME MANAGEMENT factor.

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It would be wise to set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you had until now. This will add moderation and serenity to your every move each morning, allowing you time to wake, gather your thoughts and walk instead of rushing and tumbling through your routine. Maybe you’ll be able to have breakfast sitting down. By the way, some swear by the habit of preparing their wardrobe since the night before. And do not check your email as soon as you’re awake. Whatever you find there could influence your mindset for the rest of the day, which you probably don’t want or need.

The use of “time out” -i.e., during your commute- may vary according to personality type but can account for a lot of time, productive and well spent, or not. Those of us who used to read the paper on the train or listen to music on the car radio/stereo may favor a little relaxation on the way to work. The younger generations and/or on-the-pulse types might enjoy packing in some knowledge or new ideas with a podcast or audiobook – a great way to pump new ideas into the brain while still “tuning out”.

Then abide by THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS.

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Stay away from social media and do not multi-task while you’re completing your high-priority goals. The more you attempt to grasp at once, the less you will get done. These commands, too, are closely related to the Focus item.

Rattle your bones every 60 minutes or whenever your mind feels overworked and losing concentration. Stretch your legs on a five-minute walk and/or switch to a standing desk if possible. 

Eat and drink lightly at lunch. You don’t want mediation between your gut and your brain to become part of your to-do list.

Involve in your tasks a colleague or supervisor who can check in for progress. You will be less likely to fall behind. 

Last, here's what to do ON SUNDAYS.

Sunday is the preamble to your week. If your intentions to be efficient and productive are serious, you must prepare from the true first day of the week. Do not take up the whole day “off” to be “off”:

*Do not sleep all day.

*Do your chores for the week, such as laundry; do not procrastinate.

*Do not tire yourself as if there’s no tomorrow because there is...

*But stay alive. Exercise for fun.

*All in moderation. Don’t over drink or overeat. Enjoying food and drinking in good company are meant to make life pleasant, not a stagnant hell of inactivity, upset stomach and splitting headaches, trailed by the lasting impression that you must never be seen or heard from again.

Most importantly, work to change your negative view of Sunday. It could actually be a productive day that starts your engine ever so softly, maybe without you even noticing. Don’t go to bed too late; get a good night’s rest and look forward to a brand new week where great things might happen.