In recent articles, you’ve learned how to be incredibly productive every day by planning the day the night before and by keeping track of how you spend your time. While these practical strategies will definitely boost your productivity, it’s still possible to get thrown off track, especially if you work in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment.
Here’s how you can regain control if you ever feel like the first half of your day slipped away from you: Take and make the most out of halftime.
If you are a sports fan above the age of 25, you may remember one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history. Down 28-3 at halftime, the Buffalo Bills stormed back in the 2nd half and beat the Houston Oilers 38-35.
On a more recent note, the Miami Heat won their 24th game in a row during the 2012-2013 NBA season by coming back from a 27-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The moral of these stories? You can still finish strong, even if you get off to a slow start.
Here are 2 quick tips on how to take and make the most out of your halftimes:
1. Get out of the office. Either go out to lunch somewhere and/or go for a 15-minute walk outside. (Ideally, go somewhere peaceful where you can simply clear your head and relax for a few minutes.) In a prior fast-paced sales job, I used to eat lunch at my desk for 10 minutes. I never left the office. Since I worked in a cubicle and in an office with very limited natural light, I had no idea what the weather was like on most days. At the time, I thought this was a badge of honor and a necessity given “how busy I was.” Now, I realize this approach was plain stupid. If you think you are so busy that you can’t even take a 10-minute break to get outside, that’s a perfect sign that a break is exactly what you need. Had I taken a few minutes to get outside and clear my head, I’m certain my productivity would have been even higher during the 2nd half of my days in that job.
2. Repeat the 3-step planning process discussed in a prior article. By planning out the 2nd half of your day, you can maximize your remaining time.
Even if you allowed the morning to get away from you, a strategic “halftime” will help you bounce back for a great 2nd half.
Note: You don’t have to wait until lunch to take a break and regroup. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just take a quick 10-minute break to clear your head. Then, review and/or revise your priorities for the day. Even if your most important tasks have shifted or unplanned commitments have surfaced, you can still be highly productive.