Ever find yourself at the end of the day feeling like the entire day is gone and you've accomplished nothing? Or feel like you just can't seem to get motivated to complete what you need to do? Or have no idea where to even start?
We've got you covered! Try implementing these 5 foolproof ways to be more productive today:
1. Make your to-do list for the next day before you go to bed. Take a few minutes and list out everything and anything that you need to get done. Let it all free flow out of your head and on to the paper. Doesn't matter if it's a big job or a little errand and don't worry about the order of the list. Just get it all out of your head and on to the paper.
Once you've listed it all out, start to prioritize your tasks into A's- most important, B's-moderately important, C's- least important. Divide the tasks up based on the days of the week. The A's: the ones that have to be completed tomorrow, put on your to-do list for the next day. If any can wait until the next day or the day after, schedule them on future to-do lists for those days. After you've scheduled the A's, schedule the B's, and then the C's (towards the end of the week).
These tasks can be reorganized as necessary, however, it's incredibly helpful to have your list ready to go when you wake up in the morning...And you'll sleep so much better having these items our of your head and on paper!
2. Minimize email distractions. We are constantly connected. Email on our computers, iPads, smartphones. We compulsively refresh our email. It's one of the last things we check before bed and the first we check in the morning. This is not necessary. Besides being a tremendous time waster, chronically checking email also derails us from our to-do lists and our priorities.
Pro Tip: Get up and get going before you check your email. Start your most important task, then check your email once for any that require urgent responses. These are very few and far between. Put up your out of office assistant while you are motoring through your priorities and take breaks every couple hours to check your email.
3. Tackle your most important task of the day first. Get after it! Get after your most important task at the start of the day. While this may seem like common sense, most of us mismanage our time by working on less important tasks first. By finishing the most important task first, you'll feel more accomplished at the end of the day. You'll also feel less rushed and less stressed than if you start your high priority tasks later in the day and it takes longer than expected to finish.
4. Avoid social media time traps. Just like we compulsively check our emails, we also insessantly check social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat... So much time is wasted scrolling and swiping mindlessly. Limit social media sessions to a few times a day for a couple minutes. You'll be amazed at how much more productive you'll be without social media distractions.
5. Workout first thing in the morning. Get up early and work out first thing in the morning. Yeah, I know, its tough to get out of bed when it's dark and super early...but you'll get used to it (and maybe even addicted to it). Some of the perks of getting your sweat session done early include getting a morning dose of endorphins, the feel good happy hormone, to start off your day. Morning sweat sessions also help to decrease stress and you may find yourself feeling less volatile or stressed out during the day. Early workouts also help to manage nervous energy and increase ability to focus. Also, if your day runs extra long, or you get stuck in traffic, you'll feel so much better that you already got your workout in rather than potentially missing it.
Implement these five suggestions today and watch your focus and productivity improve!