Are there days that end and you feel as if you have accomplished nothing? Or in actual sense, you really hasn’t accomplished anything of value? I hate that feeling of going to bed feeling tired and yet I know so well I have not done something productive.
I have often sought different ways that I can make my days more productive and not only to make me feel good about myself, but to be a step closer to my goals. I learned that there are some daily habits that I can follow and incorporate into my system to have more productive days. Some of these are;
Do it even when you don’t feel like it
This is something I have had to learn the hard way. Usually, when I have a task ahead that I am dreading, I always find other things to do rather than get to it. I will clean, organize stuff, scroll through social media, and a lot of other unproductive activities that keep me from getting the task done. I noticed the more I postpone an activity, the more it gives me anxiety and the more I cannot get to other important things because it is at the back of my mind. From practice, I learned that the faster I get to it and do it the better I feel after. So I recommend that you do it even when you don’t feel like it and after you are done, you will have one task down and feel so much better!
Learning something every day will improve your life tremendously. I often learn through books, audiobooks, podcasts and sometimes videos. When you are taking a break during the day, why not watch a motivational, inspirational video or a video on a topic that interests you? I feel so much better at the end of the day if I have learned something new that day. In the evening, rather than catch up with an episode on Netflix, try some YouTube videos on some educative topics.
Have you ever been so busy but at the end of the day, you can’t point at one single thing that you have got done? This happens when you work on all the urgent things and not focus on the important things. Urgent things (or at least those which feel urgent) include responding to emails, phone calls and messages, focusing on deadlines (because you didn’t do these things in time) among others. I recently read The 4 hour workweek whereby Tim Ferris says to enhance productivity, one should try checking emails and messages about twice a day; at noon and at 4pm. I assume if someone had something urgent to tell you they would not be sending you an email and therefore, emails may not be such a priority. This way, you focus the most productive hours (for morning people like me) on being productive rather than responding to things that can wait for later.
Get some air
I realized that when I go for a morning walk or jog I usually have better days. I feel more energetic, and the fresh air in the morning is heavenly for your mind. I struggle with migraines and this morning fresh air makes them less intense. I also like walking in the morning when the air is still crisp and I get to squeeze in my daily workout so that even if I don’t get some other time to work out during the day, I have that covered. If you go to work and have a morning commute, take advantage of the distance from the bus stop to the office, or from the parking area to the office. Take in some air since you may not get the time to get such fresh breaths during the day.
Write a to-do-list
Honestly, I still struggle with this. I wish I can write a to-do-list the previous night before I get on with my day. On the days I manage to do this, I usually have such a productive day since I don’t spend the morning trying to figure out what I am in the mood for, especially when I don’t have deadlines to push me. I to-do-list gives me focus on the right things to prioritize on such that even if I only do the things listed on my list, I at least know I spend my day being productive and working on the important stuff.
What are your tips to having a productive day?