Do you wish you could have a more productive day?
Do you ever get to the end of the day and feel like you’ve achieved barely anything you actually intended to? You’ve spent the whole day chasing your tail, you’ve been ridiculously busy, but somehow your to do list just gets longer and longer. There aren’t enough hours in the day!
Then you go to bed worrying about all the things you didn’t get done. Wake up, feeling exhausted and repeat the whole cycle again.
Well, this one’s for you, because it doesn’t have to be like that!
Let’s nail that to do list and achieve more every single day. Whoop whoop!
1# Plan ahead for tomorrow
Spend 15 minutes the night before getting prepared for the following day. Pick your outfit, prepare lunch, have all the things you need and write your to do list. This will make getting out the door in the morning so much smoother. That way you can leave the house feeling organised, confident and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you.
Well, in theory anyway. I know there are some things you just can’t plan for like when your child (who swore blind they didn’t need the toilet) is suddenly desperate to go, or you unwittingly singe melted plastic on to your hair via curling tongs and have to give yourself an emergency haircut (true story). On days like that just drink coffee, lots and lots of lovely coffee.
2# Get up earlier
I appreciate this might be a hard sell. Sleep is precious, especially if you’re a sleep deprived parent like me. BUT even if you get up 30 minutes early, a few times a week, it could make a huge difference.
Get something done that you know you won’t want to do at the end of the day. Whether it’s a work out, housework, prepping dinner. Get it done. You could gain an extra 3.5 hours a week, by just getting up 30 minutes early.
Are you really making the most of your time? Are there tasks you could be combining? While I’m making my sons porridge in the morning, I’m also unstacking the dishwasher and while he’s having his bath, I’ll be giving the sink a clean.
When I’m putting my make up on in the morning, I try to find a podcast or YouTube video that’s going to help me learn something (usually something to do with blogging). I don’t need to concentrate too much when I’m doing my make up (although this probably explains why my winged eyeliner never quite goes right), so it’s the perfect time to occupy my mind with something useful.
4# Write a shorter to do list.
Does your to do list resembles a novel? That’s just a recipe for stress! You need to be realistic about what you can achieve in one day and take the pressure off yourself.
Pick your three most important tasks for the day and leave it at that. Not only does this help to pin point your priorities and allow you to focus, it removes the constant feeling of failure, when you end the day with a longer list than you started.
Keep a master list so that you don’t forget anything and if you complete your three main tasks, there is no reason that you can’t pick something else from the master list.
I’ve recently been introduced to trello, a great free online tool for organizing your personal or work related tasks. Plus it syncs in real-time between all of your devices and you can collaborate with others. I definitely recommend checking it out if you like to make lists.
5# Take a break when you need to.
I know this one sounds counter intuitive, but know your limits. There comes a point when you need to step away for 5 minutes to refocus and then come back to whatever it is you’re working on.
A recent study demonstrated that taking a short breaks during long tasks enables you to stay focused on the task. So make sure you get up, take a walk around and have a breather before you get back to it.
6# Never leave a room empty-handed
This one is mainly for when you’re at home. If you’re going into a different room or upstairs, take something with you that needs to be returned to that room. It will save you a trip later and help you to keep the house a little tidier without too much effort. Even better, before you leave the room do one thing to improve it. Put something away, fold something, dust something.
Research shows it takes around 66 days for an act to become a habit, so if you make a conscious effort to try this consistently for a couple of months you are more likely to do it automatically.
7# Eat breakfast
If you’re going to have a super productive day and tick off those to do’s, you need to fuel that brain of yours. So never skip breakfast and by that I mean the right kind of breakfast. No cereals packed with sugar!
Eggs are a great choice as they’re packed full of nutrients. They contain a vitamin called Choline which can help to increase reaction time and boost your memory. They also keep you fuller for longer, so you can avoid the mid-morning munchies, which is brilliant if you’re aiming to lose weight too. Bonus!
Blueberries contain antioxidants which can help increase your memory potential and decrease blood pressure.
Bananas are good too as they contain potassium which can help you to think more clearly and focus.
I hope these tips help you to have a more productive day. Of course there are a million more, but I wanted to focus on the things that I personally find really work.
What helps you to have a more productive day? Let me know in the comments below.
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