Tag Archives: productivity

Waking Up Early vs Going to Bed Late

You either stay up late or get up early; everyone falls into one those two categories. Which do you belong to?  There are so many opinions saying one is better than the other, but as long as you’re getting everything done what’s the fuss about?

We did our own investigation to get answers from Jeremy, who wakes up early, and Natalee, who stays up late, to understand some of the differences between these two lifestyles. See what they think of their productivity and what they do with their time. It’s always fun to see how the other side lives!

Our answers from the early bird, Jeremy.

  • What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
    • I don’t like to waste the first part of my day, so I wake up and I like to have a cup of coffee before the sun comes up. The best part is not feeling rushed in the morning.
  • How early do you wake up?
    • 4:30AM
  •  What’s your favorite part about waking up early?
    • Coffee and then feed the cat. Sometimes it’s not in that order depending on how angry the cat is.
  • Do you still wake up early on the weekends?
    • Yes, but not as early. I’ll usually sleep in until 5 or 5:30.
  • Do you feel like you get more accomplished in your day by waking up early?
    • Yes, it gives me time to get caught up on the news, get to work early and get things done ahead of time.
  • How is your productivity at work?
    • My whole day is productive, but I feel most productive in the morning. Because I start out early, I can get focused and in the groove for the whole day. I don’t even have an afternoon hump like some people do, but once 5:30 hits I’m ready to be out of the office!
  • What do you do at times people typically don’t?
    • Whenever I need to do laundry, I always get it done before 5AM. If I’m into a book I like to read a few chapters before getting in the shower. Lastly, I’ll get on my work email occasionally at 4:30 and work a little bit; it lets me have a real time discussion with some co-workers in China.
  • How long have you been waking up early?
    • I started getting up at 5:30AM in college because I always worked out before my 8AM classes.
  • Some people say night owls are more creative, do you agree?
    • I disagree. My creative juices actually flow most in the morning. I think each person has their own level of creativity, and it hits them at whichever time is best for them.

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4 Must-Know Steps for Following Through

Planner and iPhone by koalazymonkeyBelow are the steps to making a powerful list that will offer you confidence that you are doing what you need to be doing, when you need to be doing it.

1) Write your list

Your first step is to write down all the tasks you can foresee having to do today and in the future—this is your master task list. Tasks that you don’t see doing anytime soon can be put on a “Someday” list.

Once you’ve chosen the specific tasks you wish to accomplish today, write them in your planner and organize your list by context. Simply put your work tasks at the top, your home tasks at the bottom and any errands or on-the-go tasks in the middle of your list. Some individuals like to go a step further and differentiate their contexts by using different colored inks.

2) Categorize your tasks by urgency and importance

This is an important step because it ultimately determines the path of your productivity.

Categorize your tasks with a coding system, using letters and numbers:

  • Scan through your list and select items that absolutely must be done today. Assign those the letter A. Be sure to be selective here—these are strictly time-sensitive tasks that must get done today.
  • Review the list for tasks that need to get done and assign the letter B to those. While not urgent, B-level tasks include the most important steps you take toward reaching your goals. You must get them done, but you won’t suffer consequences if they’re not completed today.
  • Put the letter C by items that are neither urgent nor important. These are items you want to do, but they can wait for another day. C-level tasks are the expendable part of your daily plan.

3) Give your tasks order

Now, number your tasks. Number each task in an order that suits your daily flow. Take into consideration your own patterns of productivity, daily energy swings, anticipated locations, and how one task affects another.

As you complete your list organization, it’s important to keep in mind that new tasks will undoubtedly pop up as you go about your day. Use the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s of your list as a decision scale for choosing where this new task fits in. For example, you may have to decide if returning a phone call (a “B” task) is more important than meeting a project deadline (an “A” task).

4) Follow through on your list

The final step in prioritizing your list deals with your own behavior as you go through the day. The best course of action is for you to honor the priorities you’ve assigned to your tasks. By being impeccable with your word, you will enjoy better productivity and balance in your life.

Let us know if this method of prioritization works for you, and be sure to include new tips of your own.

Get more tips on planning, organizing and productivity for every facet of your life by visiting the AT-A-GLANCE Success Center.


Capitalizing on the strengths of paper and digital planning tools, a hybrid system gives you the best of both worlds while avoiding the pitfalls associated with either of the mediums

Best of 2013: Digital or Paper Planning—Why Not Both?

First, everyone at AT-A-GLANCE would like to thank you for following our blog throughout 2013 and providing excellent input on our posts and content. This is YOUR blog as much as it is ours, so never hesitate to give us your thoughts, ideas and suggestions on organizing, productivity and planning.

Second, we want to highlight the most popular post of 2013—and, as it turns out, one of the most popular topics year in and year out. This post—Digital or Paper Planning: Why Not Both?—looks at the strengths of both planning systems and gives you the foundation for starting your own “hybrid” approach. Enjoy and let us know your own thoughts on the best planning systems. Continue reading

Top 10 Tips to a Productive Holiday Season

To help you achieve maximum productivity and minimal stress this year, we’ve compiled our Top 10 tips for surviving and thriving during the holidays.More than any other time of the year, productivity and time management are put to the test during the holiday season. No matter if you’re St. Nick or Ebenezer Scrooge, stress associated with the holidays is all around you—at home, at work, on the road, in the grocery store…and don’t even think about the shopping malls!

Here at AT-A-GLANCE®, we’re all about increasing your productivity through solid planning and organization. These assets are of the utmost importance during this hustle-and-bustle season. To help you achieve maximum productivity and minimal stress this year, we’ve compiled our Top 10 tips for surviving and thriving during the holidays. Continue reading

AT-A-GLANCE® Wounded Warrior Project® Planning and Productivity Tools Now Available at Office Depot

WWP product sales through Office Depot will result in a portion of the proceeds going to support the needs of injured U.S. service members 

Office Depot Now Carrying AT-A-GLANCE Products Supporting Wounded Warrior Project. A portion of each sale goes directly to the non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and empowering Wounded WarriorsAs individuals and businesses start their planning for 2014, Office Depot, a leading global provider of office supplies and printing services, is now offering AT-A-GLANCE® planning and organizing products that can assist them, while benefiting a great cause—Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. For every WWP product sold through Office Depot, AT-A-GLANCE, which is a part of ACCO Brands, will donate a portion of the sale to WWP.

“We’re very proud of our relationship with Office Depot and delighted to have our Wounded Warrior Project products featured in its stores across the country,” said Thomas W. Tedford, President, U.S. Office and Consumer Products, ACCO Brands. “The successful launch of these products with Office Depot is a true ‘win-win’ endeavor that ultimately benefits Wounded Warrior Project.”

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