Being productive and getting the most out of your day is one of the biggest challenges for people in the work-place. For contractors, ensuring they experience high levels of productivity is a big priority for them. With them committed to contracts for potentially only a short time, they need to ensure they deliver results with impact and make short-term gains in contrast to the scope for long-term development they might be afforded as a full-time employee.
So how can you ensure the days you are working as a contractor are as productive as they can possibly be?
The early bird catches the worm, or in this case the contractor is ready for the day ahead. Rising early at the start of your work-day can be very important to the progress and outcome of the rest of your day. An early start means you are not playing catch up and getting a heads start on certain things. You can ensure you’re well fed and hydrated (through caffeine normally) and ready to hit the ground running as you arrive at your desk. Also, think about your commute, coming into work at an earlier time means you’ll miss the hustle and bustle of the morning rush and you’ll come into work calmer with a clearer head, ready for what your day throws at you.
Set your day out
Those who fail to prepare must prepare to fail. A wise phrasing that highlights the importance of planning. Before you start your day, and this can even be done the night before or on the commute home the day before, look at what you want to achieve for the day and set out how you are going to do it. Think about milestones you want to reach at certain points in the day and what obstacles and challenges you may have to contend with along the course of it; meetings, lunch breaks, chit-chat etc. It’s good to have a structure of these daily plans to ensure consistency and know that you won’t be starting your work day with no direction.
Get some downtime and unwind
Over-exerting yourself will see your productivity dwindle and will be the first steps to a burnout. No doubt in your work day as a contractor, you’ll be focused heavily on the job at hand, but it is vitally important that you take some down-time throughout the day and recharge your batteries. Try to unwind and unplug at some point during the day. Becoming engrossed with social media through your phone and searching the internet might not be a healthy choice as you’ll no doubt be tempted to dip into your work again. Try to take a walk outside and take in some fresh air, or take in a book to let your mind relax more and disconnect. Taking this downtime will keep you refreshed and maintain your levels of energy and productivity.
At the end of each working day, try to take a look back at how your day’s been and how productive it is. Look at what you’ve achieved in particular, or even what you haven’t achieved. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, remember it’s what you deem to be an achievement, and reflecting on the progress of your day will keep you motivated and help you shape your next working day.
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