What's your most productive work day? For most, it's Tuesday, according to a recent Accountemps survey. The survey, conducted by an independent research firm and based on interviews with more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, showed that thirty-nine percent of human resources managers interviewed rank Tuesday as the most productive day of the week. Thursday and Friday tied for the least productive day, each receiving just 3 percent of the response.
This is no surprise. Many workers dread Mondays, especially after what can seem like a short weekend. Two days off just isn't enough time for many to get away from the office, to enjoy time off and/or rejuvenate. Many working families are busy taking kids to and from sporting events all weekend and don’t get much time to themselves. Other families dread heading home from the cabin on Sunday nights, knowing another long work week is ahead. For those hard partying workers, Mondays sneak up fast and the lack of sleep and two-day hangover can make Monday miserable. Whatever one does on the weekend, it’s no secret time truly goes by fast, even for those who have slow, lazy days doing much of nothing.
It’s no secret many workers wake up Monday unmotivated because they feel the weekend was too short. But by the time Tuesday comes around, at least according to the survey, workers are back to normal productivity levels.
Wednesday, traditionally known as hump day, is mediocre, with 14 percent of respondents saying it’s a productive day. Come Thursday and Friday, as the survey shows, some workers are already coasting and looking forward to the long weekend, or perhaps have Friday off and start coasting on Thursday.
What can an individual, boss, supervisor or manager do to help motivate an employee every day of the week? Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals provided these five tips to coincide with the survey results:
- Axe the excess. Start by creating your to-do list for the day. Then, cut it in half, focusing on your top priorities. 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.
- Aim for quality, not quantity. In theory, multitasking seems like a good way to increase productivity. But it often leads to oversights and errors. Repeatedly switching from one project to another also slows you down. Do your best to focus on one item at a time.
- Know your prime time. Tackle critical or challenging assignments during the time of day when you're most productive. Handle less-pressing tasks, like online research, when your energy level starts to wane.
- Dodge derailers. When working on important assignments, you can increase productivity by turning off mobile devices and signing out of email and social media. That allows you to give full attention to the task at hand. Prevent interruptions by politely informing your colleagues you don't want to be disturbed.
- Explore apps. Consider taking advantage of the wide selection of software that is specifically designed to increase productivity. Digital calendars, task management apps and other time-saving programs can help you keep track of projects, meet deadlines and be more productive.
The most successful people take advantage of each day. There are sure to be distractions at any point during a week. But if you traditionally have a case of the Mondays, or cruise into the weekend starting Thursday, consider the above tips to become a better employee, more productive and more successful.