“Make your day a masterpiece.” That’s the advice that John Wooden got from his father, Joshua Wooden. He took this advice to heart: he went on to become one of the greatest coaches ever.
Of course, it’s not easy to make our day a masterpiece. But at least we can make our day productive.
How can we do that?
Based on my experiences, here are five ways to have a productive day:
1. Have a good morning routine.
The way you start your day can make or break it. If you start well, chances are your day will become good. But if you don’t, then your day might not be as good as it could be. That’s why you need to have a good morning routine. A good morning routine prepares you for the rest of the day.
Your morning routine should have these elements:
- Reflection time.
This is the time you spend to gain clarity over your life. Here you de-clutter your mind and think about where your life is going. The clarity you gain will help you make decisions throughout the day.
This time could take many forms. In my case, it’s prayer.
Exercise can give you an energy boost. As a result, you will be able to think more clearly and accomplish more during the day. You will also be able to maintain your enthusiasm.
Your capacity is limited; you can only do a few things well in a day. That’s why it’s important that you plan and prioritize your tasks. This is where clarity plays a role: it helps you prioritize the right way because you know what is important and what is not. Instead of just following the crowd, you know what is best for you.
After finishing your morning routine, you are then ready for your tasks and activities.
One key to getting things done is to focus on the task at hand. Don’t get distracted because it will make you take more time and energy to finish the task.
I often use a timer to help me focus. Whenever the timer runs, I have to work on the task. If I’m going to switch to something else, I will have to stop the timer. This makes me less likely to get distracted because I have to consciously stop the timer to switch to something else.
3. Take breaks.
You can’t be at your peak at all times during the day. There are times when your energy levels are low. So renew your energy by taking breaks. Winston Churchill, for instance, had the habit of taking naps.
4. Celebrate wins.
To have a productive day, you need to keep your motivation high. One good way to do that is to celebrate your wins. This could be as simple as crossing items off your to-do list, or you could keep a journal where you record your achievements. In any case, seeing how far you’ve gone will motivate you to go even further.
5. Increase the quality of low-intensity time.
Some activities don’t require your full concentration. For such activities, you can increase the quality of the time by using it to feed your mind. Exercise time, for instance, is a good time to listen to podcasts or audio books.
These, of course, are just some ideas. I believe there are still many other ways to have a productive day.
What about you? How do you make your day productive?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!
Photo by Bigstock