We all have those days, whereby nothing seems to stick at the office. You know, when try as you might you just for the life of you cannot seem to gain traction on the productivity front…even with deadlines looming?

I tend to refer to this a momentary lapse of complete laziness, the type that often see’s me doing everything BUT that which I need to be doing 

Sarcasm aside though, productivity is critical to your success at work. Business owners, managers and executives all want to get the most from their employees. If you’re not performing as efficiently or effectively as others, your long-term job prospects could be in trouble.

Just a few things that work for me…

  • . Set your schedule for the next day before you leave the office

Prioritize which tasks need to be completed. Even if you are interrupted by unexpected assignments or emergencies, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done when you return to your desk. Not only will a schedule help keep you organized and focused, you’ll get the satisfaction of crossing items off your “to do” list once you complete them.

  • Take a five-to-10 minute break whenever you feel mentally fatigued

Take a short walk down the hall to the water cooler, or even across the street for a cup of coffee. Brief interludes from work can actually increase your productivity by getting your blood flowing and allowing you to return to your work with fresh eyes.

  • Reduce your multi-tasking

Although multi-tasking is currently in vogue, trying to accomplish more than one task at a time can actually be more harmful than helpful. Studies have shown that people who try to do two or more activities at once end up becoming distracted, and the quality of their work suffers. Focus on one task at a time, complete it properly and move on to the next project.

  • Eliminate potential distractions

Although interruptions during the workday are inevitable, minimize them to the extent possible. If you have an office with a door, keep it closed. When a co-worker is looking to shoot the breeze, let him or her know that you’re trying to finish a project, but would be happy to chat later. (Just be sure not to brush off any of your superiors.)

  • Impose deadlines on yourself, and stick to them

As you would with a financial budget, budget your time to help you meet deadlines faster. Some people who thrive under deadlines even deliberately shorten their workday by 15 minutes to ensure optimum efficiency.

  • Avoid large, heavy lunches that will leave you feeling fatigued

Instead, snack on foods high in protein, fiber and antioxidants throughout the day. Granola and berries will keep you full and focused. Sugary foods and energy drinks keep you going only for a short time, and the inevitable “crash” may turn you into a zombie and ruin your ability to work for the rest of the day.

And when all else fails, just remember, that next pair of Steve Madden’s depends on it 😉