Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I will often arrive at work knowing that some task is the single most important thing I need to get done that day. I also know that it should not take all day, yet I always manage to drag it out such that it will consume my whole day. I do not want to rush it, but I know I am not working on it as quickly or efficiently as I could. Any suggestions?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Set a reasonable deadline for yourself and simultaneously give yourself other important work to do that day so that you have something to fill the remainder of the time. Without a deadline of some sort, it's easy to let work consume all available time. And without other work/activities to move on to, the deadline can feel less relevant.

A common method of productivity is to choose 3 important things to do each day. 3 things that, if accomplished, would make you feel satisfied with your progress.

But again, be reasonable. Humans are bad at gauging the amount of time something may take. As long as good work is getting done (and not to the detriment of other tasks), don't worry about it. There is more to be done in life than can ever be accomplished.

share|improve this answer

Timeboxing. Split your day into 30 minute segments or whatever you like and then take a forced break. The forced breaks will set 'soft deadlines' and during those breaks you'll rethink whether it's worth spending so much time on.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.