“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!
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Very Nice Article..two thumbs up..
Nice article 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Not sure what time I would have to get up to have this nice morning routine. Some people need to be up and pushing it at work by 7AM. Maybe there is a more practical approach for the working MOM / DAD?
Nancy, if you don’t have the time for a morning routine as extensive as the one above, you can make a mini version and combine it with an evening routine.
For example, wake up 20 minutes earlier and do 10 minutes for reflection and another 10 for planning your day.
In the evening, do a little exercising (you can do 8-minutes workouts at home if you absolutely have no time) and spend another 10 minutes reviewing your day. You can even make the plan for the next day and this way in the morning you only do reflection.
@Nancy: I agree with Kosio’s solution. You can separate the routine into two parts.
@Kosio: Really good answer 🙂
Such a lovely article, definitely will be trying this! Must say your blog has become something I read everyday, and prayer being incorporated to it makes it perfect! thank you for sharing 🙂
Glad to hear that, Jenny. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
woww 🙂 realy nice article! to be honest; im terrible with being productive; im not such a good planner and im usually spending more time than i need on “pleassure” activities.
wish you had an article about procrastination.
Thanks for the kind words, Maor! I might write an article on that someday, but I’m still learning myself 😉
Some days are just tough to get going and feel productive even with a routine. I find on these days just focusing on getting some useful but less taxing work helps. Building from that and a sense of momentum means bigger tasks can then be taken on.
I like your idea, Peter. Yes, having a sense of momentum will make a big difference in such days.
I am a strong believer in the importance of environment. Having a positive environment is just as important as a good routine. What are your thoughts on setting up a positive environment?
I’d actually move the planning to just before you go up bed. I read somewhere (on multiple places, just remembering eat that frog) that you have limited amounts of decisions everyday. This you should preferably you those on hard and important choices rather than planning you day.
You also let the plan sink in during the night, thus the brain can actually solve some of problems 🙂
Planning in the mornings are better than no planning.
I liked this article. It’s so important to take a break, even if your busy because when you come back to your work you will be refreshed and more productive!
Thanks for the post 🙂
Short, sweet, to the points. Thanks for the share.
Good points! I think it’s also important to understand whether you are more of a morning or afternoon individual and take advantage of your productivity peaks!
Great Article. Thanks for the Tips!
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