Have a challenging project to tackle? Take it up on Tuesday, a new survey from Accountemps suggests. Thirty-nine percent of human resources (HR) 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.
The fact that Tuesday was cited as most productive comes as no surprise: It’s held the top spot in similar productivity surveys since 1987.
The most recent survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
HR managers were asked, “In your opinion, on which day of the week are employees generally most productive?” Their responses:
|No particular day||14%|
View the research highlights and other historical productivity statistics.
“Many workers spend Monday catching up from the previous week and planning the one ahead,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “On Tuesday, employees may begin to have time to focus on individual tasks and become more productive. The goal should be to maintain the positive momentum established on Tuesday throughout the week.”
Accountemps offers the following five tips to increase productivity and make every day like Tuesday:
- 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.