The lighter side: Important work to be done? Leave it till Tuesday

Have some challenging work to do? Then wait until Tuesday to tackle it, as HR agrees that’s when we’re at our best

Tuesday has been named the best day to tackle tricky tasks, according to a new survey by Accountemps. Of more than 300 HR managers quizzed by the recruitment company, 39% ranked Tuesday as the most productive day of the week, followed by Monday on 24%.

Thursday and Friday were deemed the least productive – they received only 6% of responses put together.

"Many workers spend Monday catching up from the previous week and planning the one ahead," Max Messmer, Accountemps chairman stated. "On Tuesday, employees may begin to have time to focus on individual tasks and become more productive. The goal should be to maintain the positive momentum established on Tuesday throughout the week."

Tuesday has consistently been ranked as the most productive day since the firm began holding productivity surveys in 1987. Friday has unfailingly taken last place.

Other productivity findings included:
  • By 4pm workers have mentally checked out. Of those asked, 37% said 4pm to 6pm was the least productive time of day followed by 2pm to 4pm (28%). So focusing on critical tasks in the morning and avoiding late afternoon meetings makes sense
  • 51% of employees say they are more productive after a holiday, and 31% say they are more productive after a break
  • 10am to noon on a Tuesday following a holiday is the most productive time and day for employees
Five tips to boost productivity and make every day like Tuesday
  1. Axe the excess Create a to-do list for the day then cut it in half, focusing on the top priorities. Workers often 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 is better for productivity
  2. Limit multi-tasking While multi-tasking seems like a good way to increase productivity, it often leads to oversights and errors. Repeatedly switching from one project to another also slows you down, so try to focus on one item at a time
  3. Know your prime time Work out when you are most productive and use that time to tackle critical or challenging assignments. Save less-pressing or more mechanical tasks, like online research, for when your energy level starts to wane
  4. Dodge de-railers When working on important assignments, you can increase productivity by turning off mobile devices and signing out of e-mail and social media. Prevent interruptions by politely informing your colleagues you don't want to be disturbed
  5. Explore apps Look into 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
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