How many times have you found yourself saying, “If only I had one more hour to work on this project!” or, “If there were a few more hours in the day, I could…” When we have so much to accomplish in a day, gaining even one extra hour – whether during daylight savings time or when transitioning between time zones – can seem like a luxury.
What would you do if you had one extra hour in the day? Although we can’t actually create that extra time, imagining what we would do with it can be a helpful exercise for daily productivity. A goal or a reason to make extra time can be just the motivation you need to more efficiently complete your daily tasks to fit in an extra activity.
Here are a few activities that take only an hour but could greatly enhance your workday – and could boost your productivity level to make room for them. If you had an extra hour, would you…
- Clean Up Your Workspace
When time gets away from us, so can the tidiness of our workspaces. But a messy desk can only hinder your productivity – and your professional image. You are rarely doing yourself a favour by keeping papers piled on your desk, folders stuffed in drawers, and information buried when you need it most.
Even when a cluttered desk may work for you, others may associate a disorganized workspace with your actual products. Like your professional image, the image you project with your office environment has an impact on both internal and external contacts. Taking just a short amount of time to tidy can help you to leave a great first impression with your office space.
- Learn A New Skill Over Lunch
It can be overwhelming to face the big task to “learn a new skill.” But if you knew it could take only an hour to add a new skill to your resume or repertoire, would it be less intimidating? A Lunch and Learn can be a great way to transform your lunch hour into an interesting, exciting, and useful learning opportunity. For example, we offer 60 to 90 minute sessions on sixteen different topics, including “Working a Room,” “Public Speaking,” and “Business Dress.” These sessions are interactive and engaging – which can help to inspire and re-energize the rest of your workday.
- Have a Networking Coffee
A coffee break with a business contact or friend rarely lasts more than an hour or two, but this task can often remain on a to-do list for weeks or months. Yet think about what kind of valuable business relationship you could build if you reached out to someone you recently met at a conference or a meeting, with whom you have been meaning to discuss your professional ideas or your company’s plans. Networking is one of the most important ways you can grow as a professional, as business connections are invaluable.
- Hit the Gym
Studies show that 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can work wonders for your health. It can also help you to manage stress and improve your mood. Yet there is often not enough time in the day to fit in a visit to the gym. But there are some ways to incorporate wellness into your workday, especially if companies are on board.
For example, try walking during breaks or at lunch – or aim to walk to work one day per week (if you live within walking distance of your office). Find a gym near your office so you do not have to add an extra commute for exercise. And on certain days, plan for a fitness class just after the day ends – so you can’t let tasks persist well into the evening.
Even with one extra hour in the day, you could accomplish so many things. The trick is to determine how you can make all the hours of the day productive and worthwhile – and it will feel like time is on your side!