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Do you struggle with productivity? Are you always striving to get your task list accomplished but end up constantly moving tasks to the next day? If this describes you, here are a few tips for making your day more productive.
Create a To-Do List the Night Before
I have discovered that instead of waking up in the morning to make my to-do list, I make my list the night before. This way I can go to bed relaxed and confident for the next day.
You also wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you have planned for the day. You might also consider planning on Sunday night for the upcoming week. Then when you wake on Monday you have a plan in place.
Take a look at the tasks on your list. What tasks offer the largest return? What tasks offer the most value and achievement? For example, answering email or paying bills isn’t a task that offers a large return. However, making a sale or meeting with a client is a very productive task. Put your most profitable or results-oriented tasks first on your list.
Another way I prioritize my tasks is to use the FLOW Method (taken from my friend Danny Clarke). FLOW is First, Last, Other and Win. I notate the 3 things that MUST be done with an F. The last 3 with an L. Everything else has an O.
Then choose the one big thing you want to do each day that is non-negotiable that needs to be done to keep you moving forward.
I try to make sure the F’s and the W’s are done; everything else is a bonus.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The quality of your sleep is important to sustain your energy levels throughout your day. Good sleep means you’ll be fresh and energetic all day long. Creating a to-do list is a good way to help you get a good night’s sleep because you can put the day’s stresses to rest.
Also consider adding soothing nighttime rituals to your routine. For example, meditate, stretch or read before you go to bed. Keep a gratitude journal and write before you sleep. Go to bed and wake at the same time to help your body know what to expect. I have found this to be a lifesaver for me and I also listen to some quiet, meditative music which puts me to sleep in no time.
The food you eat has a direct correlation to how energetic and productive you are. Junk food will make you sluggish. Healthy food will help you stay energized all day long. Feed your body well and it will respond by keeping you alert and energetic.
If you spend half your time searching for files, names and numbers, you are wasting time. Make sure any items that you use on a regular basis are easy to grab from your desk chair or find in your computer. They should be easy to find and use.
Productivity doesn’t mean working from sun-up to sundown. In fact, if you work without stopping, you’re likely to burn out. Instead, commit to taking a break every hour. Walk around or get some air to get the blood moving throughout your body.
Do you multi-task hoping it’ll make you more productive? Do you manage one task while your mind is already onto the next task? Both habits are unproductive. When you focus on what you’re doing, not only is the task more enjoyable, it also gets done faster and better.
Productivity is possible. With a little planning, attention and self-care you can get more done in half the time. These tools are simple but effective. Try just one of these steps and watch your own personal productivity improve.