June 19th 2019
Learning how to make the most of your 24 hours~
Their are few better feelings than ending a day and looking back at how much progress you’ve made and how productive you were. However, getting yourself to the point of peak productivity can also bring a bit of stress if done in a way that is not sustainable. However, being productive and stressed don’t always need to go hand in hand.
There is this common misconception that being productive means that you have to check a thousand things off a mile long to-do list and that your whole day from morning until night has to be filled with task after task. I don’t know how this belief became so prevalent, but I think it is time to redefine productive.
In my eyes, productive means getting your tasks done in an effective and timely manner without procrastinating everything until the last minute. This could be one task in a day or twenty, there is no quota for checked boxes in order to be deemed productive because productivity means different things to different people. However, despite our varying expectations of what it means to be productive, how do we get to where we need to be with our productivity?
Well, I have come up with a few practices that I have incorporated into my morning routine in order to get myself into the productive flow. These tips may not work for everyone, but so far these have helped me get into a good groove.
- Set a wake up time- Depending on the kind of day you have planned, set a strict or loose wake up time. For me, unless I have somewhere to be early in the day, I set myself a loose wake up time meaning, if I wake up and see that it is later than 8:30AM, I get up no matter what. That way, I can sleep as late as my body wants, but I don’t let myself go back to sleep if I see it is after 8:30. Today I woke up and saw it was 8:50 and I got straight to work.
- Don’t sit on social media- To go off my last tip, try to avoid spending extended time on social media before getting out of bed. It is is easy for time to escape you when you’re mindlessly scrolling through timelines. When my alarm goes off, or I decided to wake up on my own, I run through a list of things to get done that day then start working ASAP before I can give myself time to stress or overthink things.
- Make a task timeline- This can be a mental or written timeline. I prefer to keep my timeline mental on most days because so much is subject to change that I prefer to be flexible. However, keeping a task timeline is a good practice for days you want to get a lot done. A task timeline is just a to-do list with times attached! Here is an example of mine today. Notice how I put how long each task would take me to complete and put specific times on the tasks that are at set times. This helps me puzzle piece my day together to ensure I have time for everything.:
- Set up bank card and bill pay- 10 minutes
- Write blog post- 1 hour
- 2 Google Analytics Modules- ~1.5 hours
- Build work newsletter- ~1 hour
- Gym @ 1:30PM- 1 hour
- Haircut @ 4:30PM- ~2 hours
- Take breaks- Taking breaks may not sound super productive, but it is actually vital for keeping yourself motivated and effective. Taking breaks helps avoid the burnout that can often lead to rushing tasks or cutting corners. By taking out time in the day to just relax or do something you enjoy, you’re easing up on yourself and preventing stress overload from killing your productive day.
- Be flexible- Rigidity is the enemy of productivity. Sometimes you get tasks done faster than you thought and other time, you have a bit more work to do than expected, however, remaining flexible is the best way to get it all done. Although a task timeline is a good way to estimate how long certain things will take, sometimes changes are unavoidable. Always have a plan B for if things aren’t moving at the rate you expected.
- Be easy on yourself- Productive days are supposed to be beneficial to you and your life, so be kind to yourself. Remember that you only have 24 hours in a day and some tasks can wait until tomorrow. Don’t lose sleep or drive yourself crazy in the quest to have the most productive day possible. Do what you can and forgive the rest. We are free to be the most productive versions of ourselves when we don’t attach productivity to overwhelming amounts of stress.
So, now that I am done with this post, I am going to get back to my productive day! Hope you all have a great and productive Wednesday!