Productivity levels wax early in the week, and wane quickly, according to a survey by staffing services company Accountemps. One-fourth (24 percent) of surveyed managers indicated that Monday is the most productive day of the week, and more than one-third (39 percent) of managers said that Tuesday is the most productive day. Employees also agree that the most productive time of the day is between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
To ensure you make it past lunch on Tuesday, Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies, suggests creating a to-do list in the morning—and then cutting that list in half.
"Too often workers overestimate what they can accomplish and become frustrated by their lack of progress. A shorter, more realistic list that leaves room for unexpected projects and setbacks will help you become more productive," he says.
Messmer also advises against multitasking, specifically urging us to monitor our online reading habits (having 10 tabs open in your browser is not conducive to a sharp focus). Other suggestions for maintaining productivity are resisting the urge to check email the moment it comes in, taking short breaks after achieving small project milestones, and communicating clearly to ward off the need for future clarifications.