Do you ever feel like you can never accomplish too many things during your days? I’m sharing my best tips on how to have a productive day.
You can never control every single aspect of your daily life. However, there are plenty of little things you can do to set yourself up for a successful day, filled with accomplishments that will propel you towards your goals.
The one thing successful people have in common is the ability to manage their days and control their schedule.
So if you are not feeling productive, you might have to look at how you’re implementing things on your day-to-day life.
Here are some of my best tips to help you be more productive throughout the day. They are simple and actionable steps. It’s easy to integrate them in your daily routine to reap massive rewards in terms of productivity.
Tips to have a more productive day
1. Have regular breaks throughout the day
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is to relax.
It may seem counterproductive to take a break in the middle of your working day but the benefits are amazing.
Taking breaks give you the opportunity to stretch and relax your muscles from sustained positions, which are great for both physical and mental health.
Breaks also help with ‘decision fatigue’ and improve reasoning which are deteriorate in prolonged working hours.
You don’t need extremely long breaks to find yourself a renewed state of motivation and creativity.
If you’re wondering how to have a productive day at work then you should take a break for lunch but also other smaller breaks throughout the day. They will replenish your mental capacity, making you feel sharper and motivated to focus on the work before you.
2. Plan your day like a champ
Don’t ever sit behind your desk without a plan for the day! Don’t go hoping that the idea of what to work on will suddenly come to you.
You’ll waste hours doing shallow work such as scrolling through websites, reading emails, chatting with colleges instead doing the deep work that will produce the most value from your work and give that sense of productivity.
In fact, planning is so essential that you should know what to do from the moment you open your eyes in the morning, so you’ll feel productive in both personal and professional aspect of your day.
Use a planner with time blocking layout and plan all of your activities for the day (even better if you do this at night the day before).
This way you can make sure you know what to expect from your day and work your schedule like a champ. You’ll not only feel more productive but also reach your personal and working goals in the process.
3. Track Your Time
If you take a day to time track everything you do (even all the small things that might seem like they don’t take any time at all), you’ll realize that you waste hours EVERY.SINGLE.DAY with low value actions or activities that are basically total waste of your time (I’m looking at you, doomscrolling…).
Tracking your time can help you understand and better estimate how long a particular activity will take you to complete, so that you can make more realistic plans too and prioritize what’s important.
Because often we try to fit too many things in our schedule, making it humanly impossible to achieve everything in a day. That leads to feelings of accomplishment and depression.
Instead, tracking your time will make you more effective and goes a long way into helping you reach your goals in productivity.
4. Set goals for the day
Thoughts without a deadline are just dreams. Many people are either goal-less or they don’t set their goals properly.
And if you’re sitting wondering how to have a productive day when you have nothing to do, then my friend you need to set goals immediately!
Your goals should not only be your biggest motivators to start your day strong and be productive but if done right (which they should!) you should have a set timetable to complete them.
A task with no deadline takes longer to be completed simply because without the time constrain your mind tends to drift towards distractions instead of finishing the task.
Set daily goals in your planner, block time to work on them, track your progress. This really is the recipe for success.
5. Eliminate distractions
Distractions at work are probably the greatest productivity killer in the modern world.
We live in an age that everything is just a notification away. Phones, apps, email, social media… all constantly interrupting our productivity flow and leaving us with that feeling that we never have enough time.
Because unnecessary distractions don’t just stop us from working, getting back on track takes a lot of time too.
While distractions can seem impossible to avoid there are plenty of little hacks to make them as little as possible while you work, such as:
- Turn off notifications on your phone
- Have a productive day schedule
- Let people know you’re working and unavailable during a certain time
- Focus on one task at a time
- Keep your workspace neat and tidy
6. Learn to say no
Priorities and boundaries are a big part of a successful day.
We’re constantly asked to freely give our time. To either help someone, to give advice, to take more work, to go on a spontaneous event or simply to be there for others.
While doing all these things can make you feel great, if they come at the expense of your happiness and productivity they will likely just bring misery and resentful feelings.
Protecting your work time is an efficient strategy to make you more productive and in my opinion a form of self-care.
When you want to be successful at your job, as a spouse, as a friend and in everything you want then really have to learn how to prioritize your time and say ‘no’ for things that doesn’t align with your goals.
When you say NO you start living by your agenda, and not that of someone else.
7. Complete the dreaded task first
Often we put off doing things that requires too much energy or that are harder to accomplish.
The funny thing though is that generally those dreaded tasks are the ones that will take us to the next level, bring the highest value or return on your investment. If anything, how good does it feel to accomplish something you had been dreading for so long?
Complete the dreaded task first so the rest of the day looks brighter!
This is a surefire way to have a productive day.
8. Avoid multitasking
One task is enough! This should be your first productivity affirmation in any given day.
It takes a long time for your brain to adapt to one activity to another so if you’re trying to multitask you’re basically wasting precious time instead of accomplishing more.
Such is the case that many people now have realized the value of a themed week, in which you batch work similar types of work to avoid need for your mind to shift between activities.
One task is enough, at any time! Focus on the task at hand then attempt to move on to the next. If the tasks are related to one subject than even better.
I have several businesses and have long realized that there is no point for me even trying to work on things for the different businesses in a day. I generally take the week to work on one subject, then I schedule the tasks (grouping them by similarities) and lastly I work on one task till it’s completed.
9. Outsource tasks
To minimize your to-do list, try to outsource some tasks. This will improve your productivity exponentially.
One of my favorite things to do in a productive day is to delegate!
Think; what tasks can I outsource that will give me more time to work on the high value activities?
Normally you can outsource all sorts of shallow-work, things that you don’t do best, that take more time for you to complete than a professional would, that are meaningless to you.
Delegating tasks will help you make the most of your time while helping you grow as a person and a entrepreneur as you concentrate on the import things.
And these are just a few tips on how to have a productive day.