All of us have what we would describe as good days for being productive and bad days for it. Sometimes those bad days are outside of our control. A migraine headache, an illness, or an accident on the highway that gets us stuck on the road for three hours can all wreck havoc on the best of intentions. What if you could give yourself a better chance at a productive day by tweaking your perspective by just a little? These strategies could help you make the most out of every day!
Strategy #1: Protect Your Mornings
Even if you’re not a morning person, you need to protect your routine that you do in the morning. If you create stress at the start of your day, you’ll end up having stress throughout the day that just keeps building and building. Avoid doing any business during your protected morning time and instead do something that helps you prepare for the day.
Strategy #2: Make a Prioritized To-Do List
One of the biggest pitfalls to having a productive day is that we attempt to do too much in the time that we have. Instead of focusing on one task at a time, we attempt to multi-task most of our to-do list and we end up getting a little bit done on everything… but nothing gets completed. Put the three things on this list that must be done on any given day and make sure you completed them. Then add other items that you can work on completing after you get the top three items fully completed.
Strategy #3: Only Use Stuff That You Need
Distractions are the #1 killer of a productive day. With multiple programs, apps, and browser tabs available on most computers these days, a lot of people have Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and other social networking programs up. Some people even play their social games throughout the day too! Every moment you give to these distractions is a moment you lose time to do something productive. Most people need extra time to switch gears between working and these distractions as well. If you only keep up the programs you need, you’ll be more likely to get stuff done.
Strategy #4: Exercise!
Exercise is a great way to boost your metabolism and relieve stress. With more energy and less emotional strain, it’s easier to problem solve and be more productive. To encourage yourself to exercise during the day, set out your exercise clothes. This visual reminder will help you remember to make the few minutes you need to take care of your body as you go about taking care of the various projects that demand your attention.
Strategy #5: Have an Evening Routine
Though this strategy may be difficult for parents of young children, if you can get yourself to bed at a regular time each evening and make sure you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll find that you will feel more energetic and ready to conquer your day in the morning. You’ll find that your body will wake up right around the time you need to get up if you can keep to the routine.
Remember That No One Is 100% Perfect
Will you be able to succeed 100% of the time at adopting these strategies to be more productive? Of course not! Humanity is fallible by nature, so expecting perfection all the time is an unreasonable expectation. With regular practice of these strategies, however, you’ll find that you can be more productive on a regular basis… and that to-do list might end up being smaller!