Five tips for making every day just as productive

Have a challenging project to tackle? Take it up on Tuesday, a new survey from Accountemps suggests. Thirty-three percent of human resources (HR) managers interviewed rank Tuesday as the most productive day of the week. Thursday and Friday tied for the least productive day, each receiving just 5% and 6% of the responses, respectively.

The fact that Tuesday was cited as most productive comes as no surprise; it's held the top spot in similar productivity surveys since 2001.

HR managers were asked, "In your opinion, on which day of the week are employees generally most productive?" Their responses:

  • Monday: 14%
  • Tuesday: 33%
  • Wednesday: 23%
  • Thursday: 5%
  • Friday: 6%
  • No particular day: 18%
  • Don't know: 18%

"Monday is often spent on tying up loose ends from the week before and planning for the upcoming week or at team status meetings," said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. "By Tuesday, we've started to make a dent in the week's to-do list and have the time to focus on individual tasks, resulting in more productivity. The trick is always how to keep the momentum going throughout the week, which is a challenge come Thursday and Friday when the weekend is in sight."

Accountemps offers the following five tips to increase productivity and make every day like Tuesday:

1. Axe the excess. Start by creating your to-do list for the day. Then, cut it in half, focusing on your top priorities. Too often workers overestimate what they can accomplish and become frustrated by their lack of progress. A shorter, more realistic list that leaves room for unexpected projects and setbacks will help you become more productive.

2. Aim for quality, not quantity. In theory, multitasking seems like a good way to increase productivity. But it often leads to oversights and errors. Repeatedly switching from one project to another also slows you down. Do your best to focus on one item at a time.

3. Know your prime time. Tackle critical or challenging assignments during the time of day when you're most productive. Handle less-pressing tasks, like online research, when your energy level starts to wane.

4. Dodge derails. When working on important assignments, you can increase productivity by turning off mobile devices and signing out of email and social media. That allows you to give full attention to the task at hand. Prevent interruptions by politely informing your colleagues you don't want to be disturbed.

5. Explore apps. Consider taking advantage of the wide selection of software that is specifically designed to increase productivity. Digital calendars, task management apps, and other time-saving programs can help you keep track of projects, meet deadlines, and be more productive.