Sleep & Wake Up at the Same Time
This sets your internal clock to get tired and energized at the same time each day. The brain picks it up as a habit and a necessity and kicks in automatically. According to the national sleep foundation, adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. With regular hours and enough sleep, you’ll increase your chances to be more efficient and productive.
Review Your Daily Schedule in the Morning
Have a daily “to do” list and review them in the morning, so you have a clear agenda to what you have to do; where you’re going, and what to expect. So, you won’t waste time and energy being disorganized.
Exercising for a short time in the morning increases oxygen to your brain, which boosts your memory and processing, and creates new neural pathways, speeding up your capacity to be productive, as well as get your heart and muscle energized, among other things. Make it a habit to move in the morning. Do stretches, jog in place, do your favorite yoga poses, etc. It has endless benefits to the body, mind, and productivity.
Check in with Yourself
Review your daily goals and reflect on the efficacy throughout the day. What was done and what needs to be done and in what order, etc. Also prioritize, adapt, tweak, and be flexible as the day can present itself with unexpected challenges. And don’t get hung up on what you haven’t done. Focus on what you’ve accomplished and keep going one task at a time.
Let Go of Negative Events Quickly
Even if you had a bad morning, an argument with your spouse, kids, and in-laws, or made a mess in the kitchen, or your outfit doesn’t match, get over it. It happened, so don’t ruin the whole day obsessing and being unproductive. Give it a few minutes to process your event and then move on. People who are hung up on every negative event tie themselves down with a mental chain. Negative events happen to all of us. Those who get over it are the ones who become productive.
Take Regular Breaks
Remember the Tortoise and the Hare? It’s not the person who is running and working all the time that gets results. But one who is consistent and persistent, and also takes breaks, rests, and reenergizes, as well as enjoy the path and the journey.
Consistent research shows that individuals who work in small increments and take regular breaks and tears themselves away from their desks and offices are more productive. Also, avoid the bad habit of eating lunch at your office/desk. It actually makes you more exhausted and less productive in the long run. Instead, get up and take a walk outside, circle the building, go up and down the stairs, meet a colleague for coffee for 15 minutes, etc. Take advantage of the breaks in your day and be more productive and happy.
Take Screen & Tech Breaks
Try putting down your phone and ipad, and move away from screens on your computer and TV. Put this on your to do list with a designated time to turn things off and stand up and look out and take a walk, talk to real people, and breathe. It’s especially important to be screen and tech free in the evenings, so your body and brain can rest and fall asleep easily.
Although multitasking sounds brilliant, it has lots of side effects. Studies have shown that people who multitask overload their poor brain, especially when it comes to loading up with information, and it won’t absorb as much. So focus on doing just 1-2 things at the same time and you’ll become more productive; rather than repeating things, which wastes energy and time.
Prepare the Night Before
You never know what unexpected things can happen when you’re rushing to get yourself and your family out the door in the morning. It seems something always come up like change of schedule, traffic & accidents, and mishaps in the house. So make it easy on yourself by preparing things the night before as much as possible. Whether it’s paperwork, homework, food, briefcase, outfit and shoes, etc., it will cut down on stress, time, and you’ll be more efficient, calm, and productive. The night before, you can put coffee and water in the machine and on timer; make overnight oatmeal in a container, layout your outfit, shoes, etc. I chop up all my veggies and fruits and put them in a container the night before, so all I have to do in the morning is throw them in a blender with banana and milk, drink and go. I even put things right by the door, so all I have to do is grab and walk out. When you are well prepared, there’s less chance of things going wrong. Even when they do, you’ll have fewer things to deal with so you can continue to be more productive.
Start Your Day Positive
In the morning; don’t forget your one positive thought of the day. Saying “Stay Positive!” out loud also helps, especially when everyone is driving you nuts. Walk out of the house in the morning with a happy attitude and a smile no matter what happened, and you’ve already achieved productivity and you’re ahead than most people.