Oh, why can’t every workday be a Tuesday? According to an Accountemps survey, work productivity starts strong on Monday, peaks on Tuesday morning and then tapers off for the rest of the week.

Of course, every day can’t be Tuesday, and accounting and finance professionals can’t turn their 40+ hour weeks into a single day’s to-do list. So how you can be more productive at work regardless of what the calendar says?

Better work productivity starts at home

Prepare to be productive at work well before entering the office by prioritizing work-life balance and self-care.

Make time to:

  • Get your Zs. Adequate rest the night before is essential for better focus, memory and attitude the next day.
  • Get moving. Regular exercise has been shown to have a host of benefits, including boosting your creativity, productivity and mental acuity.
  • Eat well: Maintaining a proper diet leads to better health and more energy. Eat a good breakfast and prepare healthy snacks for the day.
  • Take time off: Everyone needs to unplug and take a break to recharge physically, mentally and emotionally. When you allow yourself to relax and refresh, you’ll be much more efficient when you return to the office.

Improving productivity while at work

Two important components of greater work productivity are maximizing your time and minimizing distractions.

  • Make every meeting count. Plan for successful meetings by ensuring there’s an agenda each time the team gets together and that it’s distributed beforehand so attendees can prepare. If there’s nothing pressing, feel free to cancel a recurring meeting.
  • Master your email. The first thing many of us do each workday morning is check messages. While this is well and good, don’t let email control you. Use all the tools and tricks your software offers to filter, sort and prioritize incoming messages. Adjust your settings so you don’t have to hear a “Ping!” every time something hits your inbox, and consider designating specific times of the day for reading and responding to email.
  • Set priorities. We all know what we should tackle first, but the reality is we tend to give our time and attention to those projects we like and put off the more onerous ones. The results are stress and late hours. To fight this very human tendency, sort your to-do list and incoming assignments into three categories: 1) urgent and important, 2) important but not urgent, 3) urgent and not important. Then don’t even look at the second and third groups until the first is completed.
  • Tap technology. In addition to taking advantage of technology to boost your personal productivity, look for ways to automate processes and enhance your department's efficiency and time management.

How to be more productive at work? The answer doesn’t have to be working harder or longer. It’s about taking care of your physical and mental state, and planning the most efficient ways to order your workday.