Before you sift through your hundreds of new emails, voice messages and start on that task you've been putting off all week, grab your morning coffee and set out a schedule for your day. Seems simple enough but this is the number one rule to increase productivity.
Set a timer for each of the tasks and layout when you're going to get each task done by. e.g.
8.30-8.45am - Plan day
8.45-9.45 - Reply to emails, phone call, chase up supplies
9-45-10.30 - Go over blueprints for the Jones' job
10.30-10.45 - Morning break
Everyone has a certain time of day which they are more productive than others. Optimise your schedule accordingly for your prime productivity time for those more important tasks.
Having said this, I'd also suggest getting your most dreaded task done and dusted in the morning. That way it isn't weighing you down causing you to spend more time thinking about that task than the one at hand.
Allow for 1.5hours of unassigned time. Sometimes you'll get bailed up on the phone for longer than expected or an urgent task will come in. Don't throw your day (and stress levels!) out with unexpected things that crop up, stay on top of your game!
2. Have a break, have a kitkat!
I know what you're thinking, taking a break seem rather counter intuitive but think again. Research has proven that taking scheduled breaks actually helps improve concentration levels whereas working on tasks without any breaks whatsoever leads to a downhill decline in your performance.
Take a walk down the road and grab a coffee - free your mind for a bit before you power back into it.
3. Destroying all distractions
We all like to be in the know of what's going on, but phone calls, email/social media notifications and having lots of web browsers open aren't going to benefit you. Actually, they are highly likely to take away you from your train of thought and project you're working on, making you that little bit further behind. Again, schedule in times to check these around 3 times a day depending on your profession and make it a rule to only check your personal notifications on your breaks.
Pick and choose your meetings. Before you plan a meeting or say you'll attend one, ask yourself if you can accomplish the same tasks via a phone call or email.
Keep your door closed during your more productive times of the day to eliminate a colleague popping their head in your office for a quick chat.
4. Don't multitask - yes even the women!
Studies are an amazing thing and have shown us yet again that multi-tasking is not productive. Attempting several tasks at once will lead to a decrease in loss of time and productivity but an increase in stress levels. Set a rule and commit to focusing on thing at a time for optimum productivity.