Be realistic with your workload
First things first: Never commit to more work than you can actually accomplish. I like to get as much done as possible as well, but you have to understand that you can’t do everything. This plays a huge factor into your motivation. You know your time frame, so choose the appropriate amount of work that can comfortably fill it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge yourself, but don’t try and build a pyramid in a day.
Focus on the most important task first
You know when your most productive time of day is and that is when you should be working on the top-priority task and nothing else. This should be your most difficult task so that later you will only have easier tasks to finish up. This strategy has helped me increase my workflow.
A lot of people pride themselves on their ability to multitask, myself included. Studies have shown that it takes 8-15 minute to get refocused on a task. Those minutes add up quickly throughout the day. While multitasking may be called for in certain situations, be wary of how much time you are taking out of your day when your mind jumps from one task to another.
Stop emptying your inbox
Just like you need to prioritize your tasks, you can prioritize your responses to emails. By trying to clean out your inbox, you are letting other people control your workflow. Look at your inbox right now; how much is urgent enough to warrant an immediate response?
Don’t think in 24-hour days
Many plan their days in the morning, which is not a bad thing, but can lead to a shortsighted approach to getting things done. You have a whole week you can use to plan out and complete everything you need to do. Think about those 168 hours and don’t just prioritize tasks on a daily basis. Develop an efficient plan for accomplishing your week’s tasks.