Sometimes mapping out what you don’t need to do is imperative to getting your essential work done. This article suggests “stepping out” of projects that add no value to your role. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible and might not boost your popularity at the office. If you’re in a position like this, I’d suggest a “don’t need to do right now” list. Stop and consider what would happen if you took no action towards a certain task or project? If the answer is nothing, or nothing immediately, you can determine it’s not critical and move onto tasks you know are important and time-sensitive.

Additional tips for productivity:

  • Cut back on unnecessary reading. Staying caught up on industry publications, relevant RSS feeds and Google alerts gives you competitive knowledge that can set you apart from your competitors. Allot time for this reading during low-energy periods of your day. However, take some time to clean up your subscriptions. Delete publications you rarely read or ones that don’t offer value to your role in your industry. As for email- how many times have you been the victim of a reckless “CC-er”? Remove yourself from irrelevant email threads and save yourself the time of reading about subjects that do not concern your job.
  • Sometimes we get so absorbed in our work that we’ll spend several hours without leaving our seats, resting our eyes or taking a break. Schedule your breaks so you don’t end up working so continuously that you burn out. To put it scientifically—at a certain point you will reach a point of diminishing returns. That is, despite the fact that your effort and time is still present, working for excessively long periods will weaken your focus and ability to get things done quickly. After marathon work sessions, more work might simply slow you down and make you more prone to error.

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