How to Have a Productive Day Even When You’ve Been In A Slump
Work these six tips into your daily routine to increase productivity and reach your goals
Ever step into the office with the mindset of having a productive day, but you aren’t sure where to start? We all want to make the most out of our days but getting off on the right foot is sometimes difficult. Each day can be different but try working the six tips below into your daily routine to increase productivity and reach your goals!
Start Your Morning Off Right
A productive day starts in the morning. Get off to the right start by allowing yourself enough time to get ready for the day and enjoy your morning without feeling rushed. Walking into the office frazzled from the morning is an easy way to throw off your entire day. Waking up early can be difficult, but once you’re accustomed to the habit, you will find it addicting.
I know what you’re thinking, how can I just start getting up earlier without being super tired throughout the day? First, make sure you’re getting to sleep at a decent time. Working on waking up earlier is much easier if you’re still getting the same amount of sleep. If you plan on getting up at 6 instead of 7, try going to bed an hour earlier. Second, I have found that thinking of something about the next day that you’re excited about helps get me out of bed in the morning. It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary, find excitement in your daily life to motivate you to get up earlier. Finally, restrict the use of your phone or tablet 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed. Disconnecting from the digital world will help you prepare for sleep without stressing. Instead, take up some light reading before bed or writing in a journal.
Make a To-Do List
To-do lists can seem silly and mundane, but this really works. Keep a notepad at your desk and write down the tasks that need to be completed each day. I’ve found that it is most helpful to add even the repetitive things to my list, even though it can get long, it’s that much more rewarding when you’re able to mark through the list.
Physically marking off a task on a to-do list helps us feel that we are getting things done and we are more likely to continue working through the list to completion. Creating a to-do list for the following day is a great way to wrap up a work day and you will have a clear picture of what you need to get done when you come back to work. This also helps with the whole “excitement” tip from above.
Break It Down
One of the largest deterrents to productivity is a general feeling of being overwhelmed. If your tasks are large projects that are almost impossible to complete in a day, focus on breaking down the project into smaller, more manageable pieces. You can check off each of these pieces and slowly but surely work towards your goal.
Take A Breath
Working through a list at warp speed is always good, but it’s not a sustainable way to work. Make your day more healthy and productive by giving yourself breaks throughout the day. Try to avoid eating your lunch at your desk or take 5-10 minutes for a quick walk or just sit outside for some fresh air. This mental break will help bring you clarity and focus for the remainder of the day as well as help you become less likely to get burned out at work.
Completing your daily to-do list is a great goal, but there are days when that just won’t happen and that’s okay. Move incomplete tasks to the following day or later in the week.
Organize your to-do list by priority so you can work down the list and know that you are getting the highest priority projects completed first. This will also help if you are unable to complete the entire list during the day that the lower priority tasks will move to the next day.
Not all tasks are going to be things that you will enjoy. Unfortunately, they will need to be completed. Bite the bullet and tackle these jobs first, that way you can get it out of the way and spend the remainder of your day working on to-do’s that you prefer. Putting off daunting and/or unenjoyable tasks is a very easy way to continue pushing them aside and start missing deadlines. It may be more difficult, but it will be worth it.
Avoid taking work home by staying on task and being productive during your time at the office. If you have your tasks sorted out for the week and are working through them daily, then you can focus on relaxing at home and know that your work schedule is under control. Leaving work with a feeling of accomplishment will spill over into your personal life as well.