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Many people are so busy that they have difficulties getting through everything in a day. You might recognize this from your own work. That’s why it’s so important that we focus well, that we spend our time well, and that we have the top items at the top of our priority list. Following are some useful tips recommended by leadership coach Susanne Madsen.


(1) Start your day with 60 to 90 minutes of focus.   First of all we recommend that you start your day with 60 to 90 minutes of clear focus. We’re actually fresher in the morning. Our brains work better. It’s like a computer program. The more you layer on top, the slower it goes. So utilize that time in the morning. Famous coach Brian Tracy says it in a different way. He has written the bestselling book “Eat That Frog!” And he says, “Eat the ugliest frog first.” The frog symbolizes the ugly task that we’re procrastinating on. It’s a task that we need to do. It’s important, but we just somehow tend to delay it because we find it unpleasant. To get results and to optimize time best, we have to get through those frogs. So you can also consider those 60 to 90 minutes of clear focus in the morning as frog eating time.


(2) Write your task list in the evening.   Another tip is that you should write your task list or to-do list in the evening, not in the morning. When you write it in the evening you can come to the office and you are focused straight away on what needs to get done. You might even have your top three frogs, or your top three items to handle.


(3) Minimize waste, interruptions and multitasking.   Next, minimum waste. Of course minimize interruptions and multitasking. It’s a myth that we work well when we multitask. Studies show that only 4% of the population are true multitaskers. They have two processes in the brain and can do two things at once. But the rest of use, 96%, I do believe I’m part of those 96%. We can’t do that. When we allegedly multitask, we jump very quickly from one task to the other. And as we do so we lose momentum. We slow ourselves down. So focus single-mindedly on your activities, especially when you are in your frog eating mood in the morning. Then when you get interrupted later in the day it doesn’t matter so much because you already got your most important task completed.


(4) Check email and mobile message less frequently.   How about that? A lot of people still have an email notification and mobile message alerts whenever they get a new email and message. But again it interrupts us. It breaks our flow. You can also try to check email and mobile message less frequently. For instance by saying, “Okay, I want to check email or mobile message every hour, or three times a day.” It is possible. Why don’t you try to experiment with it?


(5) Ask yourself whether you’re being productive or just active.   We also encourage that you ask this question at random times during the day. Am I being productive or just active? You see there is a very big different. Many of us are very active. We get lots of stuff done, and we may even leave the office thinking, “Oh, my God, I’m exhausted. I got so much done today.” But was it the right things that you got done? Were you really productive? Did your tasks add a lot of value? So this one can be really interesting if you ask yourself that throughout the day.


(6) Use Pareto’s Principle  (80/20 rule).   You can also use Pareto’s principle. Also known as the 80/20 rule. It will help you understand what your highest value tasks are. What are the 20% of activities or tasks that you do during a day or a week that add to 80% of your results? That’s where your focus needs to be.


(7) Delegate.   Lastly, do more delegation. The remaining 80%, you may begin to delegate. Train others to take on more responsibility.

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