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Are you finding to hard to stay productive and not fall into the “doing something is better than nothing trap”. Is each day making you feel anxious and overwhelmed with where to start? I feel ya! I’ve spent a lot of time recently learning how to start a day productively. How to stop procrastinating and work less, but do more and how to be more effective with the time I have.
These were great entrepreneur tips I’ve come across on how to start a day productively. It gives super helpful ideas on how to have a productive day (especially if you work from home) and stay motivated!
Organising your day the night before
I learnt this hack from the 90 Day Year (one of the best productivity courses I’v ever come across). Simple, yes. Do we all do it? Probably not often enough.
According to the Action Catalyst two of the biggest reasons behind inaction and procrastination is:
“Lack of purpose & vision” 1
Setting goals and forgetting about them (New Years *cough cough*) is so common that we don’t even think about it. But the problem is, when we really want a business to work out, we need to keep the purpose/vision in our mind everyday.
Writing this blog and staying consistent, when the rewards aren’t there yet, is hard. It requires me to constantly remember the end game of it all. But even doing that sometimes is tiring.
To combat that, I set 3 months goals. And I set focuses for those 3 goals every two weeks. I keep those focuses written in my daily planner (more great hacks I got from the 90 Day Year course). Every action task for the day, is underneath one of those focuses. So I know each action task is directly related to what I need to be doing.
This helps me immensely in staying motivated and keeping my purpose & vision. But most importantly it keeps me on task.
“Lack of game plan & intention” 2
The benefits of waking up to a do list has been a game changer. Waking up to an action list, with focuses, it is one of the best feelings.
Half of the reason we don’t act and we procrastinate is because our action tasks aren’t set out. We sit there and don’t know what to do. So we either divide our time into a bit of everything or do nothing (which are almost the same thing).
But having organised our day before, we know where we’re going. We have confidence that it’s related to our focuses and our goals. And eventually it builds momentum. You create a habit that makes you feel in control.
A final benefit – you sleep a lot better when you know what you’re doing the next day. The anxiety levels come right down when you’re plan of action is done!
Prioritize your tasks
One habit I got into at work was numbering my tasks.
I’d always ask my manager to prioritise the tasks she gave me. Even now as I work on my own, when I set up my tasks the day before, I number them.
Even organising your tasks the day before can be daunting in the morning when you feel overwhelmed by how much you have to do. But when you sit and decide what needs to be done first to last, it makes that decision easy.
You wake up and you get to it.
It’s also a great routine to get into. To ask yourself what you really need to focus on and what tasks are going to get you there. Once you do it a few times, you start to choose your tasks with more precision and constantly keep in mind what needs to be done over what you seems urgent or should be done (i.e. answering e-mails!!)
- The Magic Of Focusing On One Thing At A Time
- 2 Goal Setting Worksheets To Help Breakdown Your Goals
- 3 Reasons To Stop Multitasking To Be More Productive
Keeping a reminder of your focus
Even though I already mentioned this above – this is one of the most important productivity tips I’ve ever gotten.
We set our goals so high that we often end up swamped by tasks. I never realised how much I was paralysed just by the thought of how much there was to do and not knowing where to start.
Breaking my goals into focuses has helped me sit there and assess what I should be doing. It’s saved me time and it’s made me feel a lot better about where I’m going and how I’m getting there.
A great book to read on focus that is game changing is The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. I can’t recommend it enough if you feel like you’re focus is all over the place or if you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
Review your day
The only way all of this will be worthwhile is if you review your day, every day. Usually we keep reviews for weeks or months.
It doesn’t have to be a full on mental process. For me, it’s simply ticking my list and seeing what I didn’t get done and why.
Was your list too big? Did you set your sights too high? Or maybe you had a few unexpected distractions? How can you handle those better?
There’s so much to learn from taking 5 minutes out to see what’s been done on your action list and why/why not.
The most rewarding is realising what you haven’t done and why. I’ve come out of days seeing that I’ve added an action item that is completely off focus. Or better yet, I’ve even realised that one of my focuses is too early. My energy is better spent elsewhere, where I’m seeing results.
These habits have honestly been game changers for me. I hope they’ve helped answer your questions on how to start a day productively. Let me know how you go. I’d love to hear what other habits you find along the way!