Have you ever noticed that you may be less productive some days than others? Or are just genuinely curious on ways increase daily productivity? Well, here are some tips on how you can start.
I have always noticed that some days I am extremely productive, while on others I want to curl up into a ball and take a nap. My brain wants to be productive, but my body just feels like its lacking the energy to do anything productive. This makes sense as the number one reason for decreased productivity is lack of sleep.
If you haven’t slept enough, likely your day has just gone downhill from there. While sleep is one of the most important aspects of our lives that help our body function, there are other habits to adapt that can help boost productivity as well.
Here are seven habits to add to your daily routine for a highly productive day.
1. Get enough sleep
This is an obvious one. If you don’t sleep enough, you’ll feel tired the next day. If you’re tired, you won’t have the energy to get through the day, let alone focus on that to-do list. There are many studies that suggest the optimal sleep a person needs daily is anywhere between 7-9 hours, but I truly believe it varies by person and age. Find out how many hours of sleep you need, what time you need to wake up, and work backwards to determine what time you should go to bed. To ensure you’re actually falling asleep at your bedtime, turn off any electronics (including phones and TVs) at least an hour before your bedtime.
2. Wake up 20 minutes earlier
Don’t rush through your morning; give yourself at least an extra 20 minutes to wake up. Rushing through your morning can leave your frazzled and forgetful, by giving yourself enough time in the morning you can help prepare yourself for the day. Some very successful people also suggest waking up early to tackle the day. It is believed that by waking up earlier, you can tackle the day before getting caught in the hustle and bustle of the day. Waking up earlier and getting enough sleep also increases decision-making skills.
3. Get moving and exercise
Everyone has a different form exercise they like and time of day to work out. Personally, I’ve never understood how someone can go to the gym in the evening, after dinner; I would feel way too energized to go to bed. Regardless of the time you like to get moving, exercise is important. Studies show that regular exercise helps increase memory, concentration, and mental sharpness. Perhaps, this is the reason that it is often suggested that you should do some form of exercise in the morning. Exercising in the morning can boost energy, increase alertness, provide better focus and put you in a better mood for the day.
4. Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast
We’ve always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but don’t always treat it like that. Sometimes you may grab a granola bar while running to school or get a cup of coffee to go because you’re late for work, ignoring the advice that you should have a healthy, balanced breakfast. Breakfast is the first meal you’re likely having after dinner, which can be anywhere between 10-13 hours after you’ve had your last meal. This is why it is also the most important meal of the day. A healthy, balanced breakfast helps boost metabolism and replenish blood-sugar levels to help increase productivity. It’s not about having a complicated breakfast, it’s about having a smart breakfast. Focus on balancing your carbs and proteins for what your body needs the most first the in the morning.
5. Plan your day
When you wake up in the morning, you might have a million thoughts and to-do lists running through your head for the day ahead. Take a moment to sit down and write down these to-do lists based on priority. Start by listing the most complicated and time-consuming tasks, as well as those that have the earliest deadlines and go from there. By planning your day in advance, you can focus on ensuring you have a productive day as you now know what you need to complete before the day ends.
6. Put your phone away
It’s no secret that phones have become an integral part of our lives, but they’re also the most distracting part of our lives. You may have picked up your phone to answer a text, but next thing you know an hour has gone by, you’ve added to your shopping cart and now are half-way through scrolling your Facebook or Instagram feed. An hour of your day has gone by doing mindless tasks that could’ve been spent focusing on your to-do list. Not only can cell phones decrease productivity by shifting focus from more important things, but multitasking with your phone also increases your likelihood of making mistakes. One study found that after receiving a phone call, the chances of making an error increased by 28% and 23% after receiving a text.
7. Practice gratitude
Perhaps the simplest, but hardest thing to do. We’re quick to complain about the things going wrong in our lives, but often forget to have gratitude for everything going right. Showing gratitude doesn’t need to be complicated, it can be as simple as telling someone thank you. There are many ways to express gratitude, from noting everything your grateful for in a journal to sending someone flowers to thank them for just being in your life. Feeling and expressing gratitude can create a happy, warm feeling internally, which helps better your mood. If you’re in a better mood, you’re likely going to be more motivated.
Not all of these habits may be helpful to you or you’re already practicing some of these and are looking to add more; this is just a starting point. Everyone is unique and may have other habits that work better to boost productivity. These are just seven, simple ways to get started to increasing productivity throughout the day.