With so much to get done in our day to day lives, it’s no wonder we all strive to have productive and achievement filled days. Every moment is precious and we all aim to use our time wisely to get everything done, but how many times do those good intentions turn into procrastination, distraction or lack of motivation? If your anything like me then you will know how often this seems to happen!
I love to be productive.
I love organisation.
I love ticking off to-do lists.
Yet that doesn’t mean that I’m immune to procrastinating. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get distracted or find myself heading off track. It happens to pretty much everyone – no matter how organised you are at some point or another those days where our productivity levels aren’t performing as well as we would hope, come around. It sucks – it’s so disheartening to have a crappy day when all we wanted to do was to get things done!
So here’s my big tip for how to have a productive day:
“Make a productivity prescription for yourself.”
I feel at my absolute best on those days when I’m most productive – and I’m pretty sure most of us feel that way! It feels great to get things done; to tick things off a to-do list and feel like we are making the most of every moment. So, to avoid that happening I created my own little productivity prescription.
A productivity prescription is a list that you set out for yourself, for you to follow so that you can have an incredibly productive day.
I love a good morning routine as it really does set you up for having a good day – but being productive isn’t just about having a ‘good’ day, it’s also about having drive and motivation to just do what you need to do. It’s more than just a morning routine, for me, it also includes what I do the night before. Everyone’s prescription that they set themselves will be different and unique to them – we don’t all work and function in the same way, so of course when it comes to being productive, we all have different things that turn us on and switch us off. But that’s just it:
We know what makes us tick, what gives us motivation and how we can avoid those moments of procrastination and distraction. No one else can tell us how to avoid distraction as what distracts me may be totally different from what distracts you! Just as what motivates one person might not motivate another. Which is why if you want to have a productive day, you have you make your own productivity prescription to suit you!
Just to give you an example, here’s mine:
For years, I have used post it notes to write down to-do lists every day. For me the good old post it note will never go out of style. I write down absolutely everything that I need to do the night before on a post it note and then stick it on my desk. That way I can tick off what I have completed over the course of my day and feel that satisfaction of throwing it in the bin, ready to write out my next post it note for the following day. This list keeps me accountable, but it also means that I know exactly what needs to be done and when.
I have written a daily diary for over 8 years now and every night I fill it in. I find that this really helps to clear away any unwanted thoughts and also clarify and celebrate any happy thoughts that I felt throughout the day. It’s just a really cleansing process for me.
This is so important for all of us – getting good sleep! Again listening to your own internal body clock will help guide you when figuring out the right sleep pattern for you, but for me getting good sleep means having an early night, no caffeine after lunch and making sure that I avoid eating too late (this disrupts the digestive system and can affect sleep). Waking up alert always leads to a productive day.
Intimacy means something different for everyone. For me, it’s about connecting with my hubby. My most productive days are the ones that start out spending time with one another. A good cuddle, kiss, laugh or conversation is the intimacy that lifts my spirits for the day.
If we get chance before Ben (aka the husband) leaves for work we take the dogs out for a walk together – I love going for a walk with him as it means an extra chance for a giggle but if not, I still take the dogs out. I love walking in the crisp, (and sometimes freezing since I’m living in the UK) fresh air of the morning. It gets my body moving and clears my mind for the rest of the day.
I also get in a workout – I aim for at least 45 mins to an hour depending on how much time I get. I love working out every day of the week and getting it done in the morning means that the rest of the day is freed up for ‘productiveness’.
Time to get breakfast in – I drink lots of liquids in the morning and always have a hot drink. In our wedding vows Ben promised me a hot cup of tea every morning so I make sure to take him up on his offer! At the moment I’m loving hot water with lemon as it really helps get the digestive system working for the rest of the day. Then I make myself a good breakfast avoiding any simple sugars so that I don’t feel hungry for a few hours.
I am such a nut case for having a clean house – I seriously can’t function if there is any mess around me, so every morning I quickly run round my house just cleaning and tidying any bits away so I’m all ready for the day ahead. For me, having a clean house and clear surroundings is like having a clear and unclouded mind!
Now like I said before, what works for me may not necessarily work for you. You might not get side tracked by a messy house and therefore wasting time cleaning may not be making the most efficient use of your time for you.
So get yourself a pen and paper and start noting down how your productivity prescription looks for you. What steps do you need to put in place so that you can lead every day with drive, determination and passion?
What turns your switch on?