You won’t believe how unproductive the average American is in roughly an 8-hour workday. Most people are only productive for about three hours a day! A ton of useful time is spent chatting with co-workers, looking for another job, and checking social media.
Could you use productivity tips for the day (that actually work)? Did you know quite a few fears can cause you to procrastinate? How many times have you said today is going to be a productive day, only to get nothing accomplished?
These tips for the day will help you with organization and planning. Which are both key to set yourself up for success by getting more done. Who does not want to be one step closer to their dream?
A productive day starts with a proactive night.
If only I would have adopted this tip sooner. It is such a time saver to start planning your tomorrow the evening before.
So, what exactly does this look like?
Begin with your meal for tomorrow. If you pack your lunch, prepare it while fixing dinner. If you are taking left-overs before putting the evening meal away throw some into your Tupperware. There you have it ready to go for tomorrow’s lunch.
You may not like leftovers or just do not plan to take any with you the next day. So, try something else. While making dinner or while dinner is cooking make your lunch. Cut up extra veggie for your salad. Or prepare a quick turkey and lettuce wrap.
As you catch up on the evening news, take note of the daily forecast for the next three days. You can then set out your outfits for three days! If you like your space to look a little more organized at least put your three outfits together in the front of your closet.
It helps if you locate all your shoes and accessories too. You don’t want that missing shoe or earring to be the hold-up come tomorrow morning.
In addition to catching up on the weather pay attention to traffic updates. Plan your route the evening before. Will you be taking toll roads?
Are you going someplace for the first time? It may not hurt to do a dry run the day before. This way you know exactly where you are going. Roads may look a bit different when it is dark versus during the daytime.
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Of course, this is totally your choice but consider taking your shower in the morning. It’s a great way to feel refreshed and awake.
All this preparation leaves little time to worry about the what-ifs. A proactive night is all about being set up for success.
Give yourself time to easily get prepared for the day.
A good rule of thumb is to give yourself a minimum of 2 hours to get dressed and out the door. As well as having ample time for your commute.
Do you have great tips for the day? How do you prepare? Share with us in the comments.
During this time, you may find it helpful to start your day with mediation or reflection. Read today’s scripture as a way to anchor your mind, body, and soul throughout the entire day.
Do you love music? Depending on the day you may like to play something soft or a song to get you pumped and ready to work.
A great podcast is another way to go. You can listen to some morning motivation as you move about getting things in order.
And yes, you can have the best of both worlds. Have a glass of water and lemon to help jump-start your metabolism. Followed by a nice strong cup of joe (anything bold will do 😊).
A quick glance at the day’s agenda may quiet your nerves about what to expect in the hours ahead. You may like to get a jump start on your day. You can begin to brainstorm a plan of attack for your first task.
Remember, you did a ton of planning the night before. So, this morning can go smoothly. Now to just hop in a hot shower. You can grab the outfit set out from the night before and quickly move on to the next task.
You also don’t want to need to make a lot of small decisions prior to work even starting. This can very well lead to decision fatigue.
Who wants to feel defeated before the day even gets started. It’s similar to running late, then fighting with traffic and losing.
The idea is to start the day well. In order to make good decisions throughout the day don’t tire yourself with things that can be taken care of with a little planning ahead.
You see setting yourself up for success doesn’t have to be complicated. These next 5 tips for the day will help you get even more done.
Brain dump. It helps to quickly jot down what’s on your mind.
Studies suggest that humans have upwards of 6,000 thoughts per day. How do you organize the thoughts you have on any given day? Better yet where do you begin with prioritizing your projects?
All of this pondering can definitely leave you feeling anxious, worried, or fearful. How many of these thoughts are of immediate concern or even really accurate? A great way to exert some control over your thoughts is with a good brain dump.
First thing, get as much out of your head about a particular topic or simply write out your tasks for the day. It is a great way to jump-start your productivity. At this point, you are not looking to arrange your thoughts just to get them out.
You can do this on a piece of paper, on a computer, or voice record your ideas on your phone. Note writing things down has the added benefit of increasing your memory.
Do you brain dump? What method do you use to get your thoughts out of your head? Share with us in the comments.
Now, you can do a few things with your ideas. One is to do nothing. Just removing the thoughts from your head may be all that’s needed to free you up for what’s next.
Another option is to organize your brain dump. Sort your thoughts into life areas like spiritual, family, business, recreation, health, and finance.
You can prioritize your dump by creating a to-do list. Add multiple categories to your list for example due now, due soon, due later (feel free to add due dates to each).
Additionally, you can set up a mind map. A mind map is a great way to communicate your ideas or even to plan your next project. Need to study for an exam, create a mind map!
However, you decide to do it, jotting down what’s on your mind will leave you feeling a little lighter. You will be able to better process what’s next. Without a mess of thoughts, you will easily begin to be more effective.
Create a workflow process. Surprisingly get more accomplished for a successful day.
This is an excellent professional tip of the day. Some days figuring out where to start working is half the battle. A great process gives you a spot to begin each activity.
So, what is a workflow process?
A workflow process is a series of steps taken to accomplish a task. In many cases, the steps build on each other to create a neatly put-together result or goal.
It helps if your process is also streamlined. Address and remove any unnecessary steps. Combine like items into one step. And remove any redundancy. All the above can slow down your productivity.
Who doesn’t appreciate knowing exactly what to do while at work? Or what is expected of them on a given day.
You can have a different process for each task. This is pretty cool because you can individualize the process for a specific job. Each time that job comes up just use the process-specific for that type of job.
The basic or staple parts of your process may stay the same. Although in other ways your business will grow. You will come across new information. In order to be competitive and current, go back and update your workflow as needed.
Constantly opening up the platform you use to create your workflow process can be time-consuming. Pair your workflow with a quick reference guide. This way you can quickly glance at a task to see where each item is in the process.
Instead of randomly multitasking, you can simultaneously work two different tasks through their own workflow. Just know that focusing on one thing still leads to an increase in productivity.
Delegate tasks. Even Wonder woman had help from wonder girl.
These tips for the day can be applied in a few different ways. Are you in business for yourself or an employee for someone else? Either way, you can assign tasks.
When you are just starting a business, you may be the only employee. So, you may be delegating duties to yourself. If your job for the day is marketing, do just that. Fully focus on that assignment for the day.
You could also hire an assistant or a few people to build a team. Take your time looking. You want someone who is teachable and who is a team player.
Play to everyone’s strengths when delegating. Assign tasks to people based on what they are good at. If you have someone who is pretty fashionable place them in charge of design.
Do your best not to micromanage. When assigning a task to someone trust that they will do the work. State your expectations and move on to what’s next. The idea is to increase productivity.
While employed for someone else you can also delegate. Assign tasks to subordinates within their scope. If you do not have subordinates, ask co-workers for help as needed.
If a job calls for your expertise don’t give that assignment away. People appreciate your skill and want your special touch when expected.
When you are in a position to divide or share the workload, do so! Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. We could all use an awesome sidekick and in some cases, an awesome team.
Do you have difficulty delegating or asking for help? Why or why not?
Take little breaks. They are terrific self-care habits.
Research suggests that you should take breaks every 50-90 minutes. Not only do people not have a long attention span but we are also easily distracted.
Work with your natural tendencies. If you find yourself getting antsy after 50 minutes of work, take a break. It’s better to step away and recharge than to go on and be unproductive.
You are probably wondering so how long of a break should I take? Try and stick to 15–20-minute breaks. That is just enough time to decompress or recharge without losing your momentum.
Don’t skip lunch. It’s a great time to recharge your body and mind. It may not be a bad idea to eat alone. You can use that time to just quiet your thoughts.
Excuse yourself and take a bathroom break. You have permission 😊. Simply walking to the restroom will allow you to stretch your legs and get your blood pumping.
Another thing you can do on your break is nothing. Don’t check emails. Don’t start another task. Don’t focus on anything.
Racking your brain trying to figure something out for hours on end is obviously not effective. Sitting in a meeting for 90 minutes totally distracted doesn’t serve you well either.
Taking little breaks is terrific self-care. Your mind will thank you. You will return to the task at hand with a fresh viewpoint. Not to mention you will get more done.
Have a quality night’s sleep. It really helps you to work at your best.
This is by far the best tip of the day. I get it. You have heard it before. Get 8 hours of sleep, experts say.
Well, sleep is so important we can’t not mention it here either.
You are super busy, you have a family, and a ton of responsibilities. There is no way you can manage to get 8 hours of sleep.
With a little prioritization and healthy limit setting, you totally can do it. That means treating your need for sleep just as you would any other important task.
So, what’s the big deal anyway? You have been running on 5-6 hours of sleep forever.
Sleep plays an important role in both your physical and mental health. While you are asleep your body heals and repairs things like your heart and blood vessels.
Your mental health benefits related to adequate sleep include:
• Improved concentration
• Improved memory
• Reduced stress
• Better emotional regulation
Does it sound like the right amount of sleep is linked to an increase in productivity? If so, you would be right. You can think of it almost like a cycle.
If you get more sleep, you will be better prepared for the day. You will get more done (earlier in the day). That way you can get to bed with enough time to get 8 hours of sleep. All before needing to get up and do it over again.
*Bonus tip- Know the important supplies you need to fulfill each project.
A little planning goes a long way. Do you have some way of knowing or choosing your project for the day? Great, you have a head start. Use it to your advantage.
Do a bit of research and find out what is needed to get the job done. Is there a certain uniform you will need? Could you use a new tool, app, or program to accomplish the task?
Go out and get these items! Show up prepared with everything you need to get to work. The goal is to avoid delays, which in turn will increase your productivity.
Tips for the day takeaway.
The average American is only productive for roughly three hours but that doesn’t have to be you. You don’t have to be unproductive!
You can make small changes to increase your effectiveness. Setting up for success doesn’t have to take a ton of time.
You can start today! Apply these practical tips to your routine. I promise you will get more done.
We can all use tips for a good day. Share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear what works for you.