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SOMERS: Take full advantage of your workday

Concept art of a doctor's work/life balance for Paul Schneidereit column.
Create a work to-do list a day in advance and you’ll be much more relaxed at home – and a good work/home life balance is as important to your productivity as it is to your life away from work, says Jeff Somers.

Your workdays are filled to overflowing: an electronic flood of emails to answer, a glut of ongoing projects to manage and move forward, a slate of must-attend meetings … and whatever else gets thrown at you during the day.

Daunting, yes – but with the right approach, you can take full advantage of every valuable minute of your workday while alleviating stress and achieving a better work/home life balance.

Here’s how.

Jeff Somers
Jeff Somers

Manage your emotions: As you walk into your workplace each day, you can feel your stress levels rise – but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you’re calm and happy you’re at your max creatively and productively, much less prone to procrastination, and you’ll accomplish a lot more. 

Moderate your addiction: Admit it — you’re addicted. You arrive at work, immediately fire up your computer and are greeted by screens of email requests – and your stress level ramps up a few more notches. You know those seemingly endless emails will make your workload larger and by addictively acknowledging them, you’ve completely lost control of your workday.

Procrastination is definitely the enemy of productivity, but sometimes putting things off can be beneficial. When you arrive at work, stay away from those time-consuming emails for a few hours and take the time prioritize your tasks (see below).

Make a to-do list and prioritize it:  A to-do list will organize your workload and make it much more manageable. Instead of wondering how you’re going to get everything done, decide what needs to be done and use your limited work time on what’s really important. Even better: create your list a day in advance and you’ll be much more relaxed at home – and a good work/home life balance is as important to your productivity as it is to your life away from work.

Minimize distractions: Think Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube – and then forget them while you’re working. These days, there are hundreds of potential digital distractions to dodge. You can do that by changing your environment, perhaps working from home. When you work uninterrupted, you’ll be much less likely to dawdle (that’s procrastinate by another name) and you’ll get much more done.

Being your best (and happiest) productive self takes self-control and having specific, achievable goals – and that is true of every aspect of your life. Talk to your professional advisor about how to take full advantage of your financial life while you’re doing the same at work.

Jeff Somers, BA, RRC, CFP works at Investors Group in Charlottetown. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. and Investors Group Securities Inc. presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own adviser for specific advice about your circumstances.

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