Five Tips for a Productive Day
Whether you’re the type of person who springs out of bed in the morning or someone who has to press snooze at least five times, we could all use some help to get the most out of our day! Below you will find five easy tips to help you get organised and achieve maximum productivity from start to finish.
1. Set up a good morning routine
A good morning routine starts the night before – get a good night’s sleep, set your alarm and wind down from the previous day. Getting your clothes ready the night before will also save you time in the morning.
If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, it’s easier to focus on the smaller tasks you need to get done immediately – get out of bed, shower, get dressed, breakfast etc. rather than thinking about the day as a whole. This will signal to your mind that your day has begun and your motivation and energy levels will rise!
One of the best ways to start your day is to eat a healthy breakfast. Fruit, eggs, natural yoghurt and porridge are all quick and easy for those on the go. This will provide your mind and body with the energy you need to have a productive day.
Many people find that a morning ritual can put you in a positive, energetic mind-set, think early morning run, yoga or even just a high energy playlist in the shower!
Before you start work, it is important to write a to-do list. Setting your goals at the beginning of the day gives you a chance to digest the overall picture so no surprises pop up.
Once you have written your list, you should prioritise your tasks based on importance and urgency. Planning your schedule around your energy can also help. If you know you work more productively after your morning coffee or lunch, plan the larger tasks for these times.
Week Plan is a great web app which can help you plan your week and prioritise your tasks!
A super tidy clean desk
3. Get rid of distractions
Focusing on your important tasks can be difficult if you are in a distracting environment. Work on one thing at a time and try not to multi-task. Everyone is different; some of us work better with a bit of background noise, and others prefer silence. Get to know your preferred way to work and try to put yourself in the best situation to focus.
Make sure your desk is clutter-free, and switch off social media notifications on your phone. You might also find that allocating specific time slots to clearing your emails will allow you to focus on the task at hand, rather than getting distracted and doing it as they appear.
Don’t be afraid to utilise technology to make the best of your time. Sites like focus@will can help keep you focused and productive all day long, and RescueTime keeps track of your website visits so you can remove unwanted temptations the following day.
4. Take a break
Focusing on your daily tasks can be draining after a while. To reduce mental fatigue and eliminate the chance of burnout, try the Pomodoro Technique which concentrates on taking short regular breaks and teaches you to stick to a timetable, thus improving productivity and reducing stress levels.
Taking a break doesn’t just mean filling up your coffee cup and scrolling through Facebook. There are plenty of other better ideas which will help energise you and keep you productive until the next break – try listening to 10 minutes of guided meditation, leave the office (without your phone!) and get some fresh air and sunlight, listen to some music or stretch out the stiffness you have acquired from sitting at your desk and get your blood flowing!
5. Reflect and prepare
At the end of each day you should go over your to-do list and highlight (literally!) the items that need to be tackled tomorrow. You should also cross off anything you have finished and take time to celebrate these achievements. This reflection will give your brain time to decompress and manage your expectations for the next day.
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