Productivity is a choice, a decision in how you are going to invest your time. Every day we are tasked with the difficult decision regarding how we are going to spend our time. If you don’t have a plan for your day then you are likely going to be unproductive. Time is a commodity, a finite resource that can either be invested or lost forever. That decision can be an intentional one or an unintentional one.
Every day consists of 24 hours that you must utilize to its very max. Our lives are broken down into 3 distinct categories which consist of sleep, work, and personal time.
The Importance of Sleep
Although sleeping may feel incredibly unproductive, it is an integral part of your day. To be the best and most productive version of yourself, proper sleep is going to be crucial. Your body does all kinds of wonderful things while you sleep.
Your body heals itself while you sleep. It also goes through the entire previous day and chooses to either let memories go or store them in long-term memory for future retrieval. When you fall asleep you are essentially shutting down your conscious mind. The conscious mind is the part of your brain that you use to think and make decisions. It is the part of the brain that is creative and develops your aspirations. But you only shut down your conscious mind, your subconscious mind continues throughout the night.
Your subconscious mind is the part of the brain that operates off of habits. When you are deep in thought or mentally checked out, your subconscious mind takes over and automatically determines your actions. Another benefit to the subconscious mind is that it will continue to work on problems after you have gone to sleep.
This ability of the subconscious mind to store memories or work on tough problems can be used to create some beneficial results for yourself. By studying or learning something new just before you go to bed, you increase your chance of remembering and storing that information into your long-term memory. If you are working on an issue that you can’t seem to figure out the solution to, think of the problem just before you fall asleep. You may just solve it in your sleep and wake up with the solution!
Be a Productivity Master
There are many ways that you can be productive throughout your day. But just like every day, it all starts in the morning. The following are a few ideas that you can incorporate into your morning routine. Do these every day and create those new habits.
Create a Morning Routine
Your morning is crucial to your success for the day. If you currently wake up with just enough time to get ready for work and take off, it’s time to start setting that alarm earlier in the morning. Your mornings should be set up in such a way that they can be done each and every day. It needs to be a routine designed for you to get centered and to set your intentions for the day.
Exercise in the Morning
Exercise does amazing things for your body. It may seem counterintuitive, but regular exercise will increase your energy levels. You may think that by expending energy, you will be tired, but the opposite actually happens. It is a time for you to clear your mind, get the blood flowing and accomplish something big first thing in the morning. Exercise needs to be a part of every morning routine.
Get a Journal
Journals are a powerful thing. There are many different ways to journal and if you are interested, I suggest reading more about them. Creating a journal is incredibly important and one that I suggest you incorporate into your morning routine.
Your journal can be a traditional journal, a place where you place all of your thoughts and feelings. Creating this type of journal first thing in the morning can help you get all of your emotions out of your body and let you start your day with a more level-head and clear mind. Beginning your day with the correct mindset is important to keep you focused and on track.
The other type of journal that you can incorporate into your morning routine is an intentions journal. This type of journal is one that I have included in my personal morning routine. Instead of just writing in your journal and dumping all of your thoughts and feelings onto the paper, you create a list of your intentions for the day.
Creating intentions is the equivalent of setting your goals for the day. You essentially plan out your day, one task at a time. For me, I set up my journal in a specific way. At the top of the page, I have my goals. These goals are things that I want to achieve in both the short term and in the long term. They are very specific and they are what I am trying to drive my life to accomplish.
Just below that, I have my intentions for the day. These intentions should be linked to the goals that you just stated. Your intentions are all about what are you going to do today. What is going to drive you closer to your goals? What specific actions are you going to take to get yourself closer to achieving those goals?
With whatever is left on the page, that is where I put my thoughts. Normally I try to connect the goals and intentions together in words. It is just my way of solidifying the two areas into one cohesive piece within my mind. I will also write anything that has been bothering me or anything that I have been thinking about, just to get it out of my mind and clear my head.
Meditation is a way for you to quiet your surroundings and be peaceful. You don’t have to do this for a long time, but you do want to do it with intention. Mediation can be very beneficial for your mind. It allows you to look at stressful situations from a different angle. It increases self-awareness and forces you to focus on the present. It helps reduce negative emotions and increases tolerance and patience. It also helps aid in increasing both your imagination and creativity.
Meditation is a skill that takes time to learn. With any skill, you will get better at it over time. You just need to keep at it. This is a great article if you want to learn more about meditating.
Limit Your Distractions
Every day we are constantly fighting off distractions. Anything that you don’t do or perform with intention is a distraction. For many people, email is a major distraction. Checking your email needs to be limited to specific times of the day. Then you must set a time frame for responding to those emails. Set a time limit for how long you are allowed to look at and respond to your emails. This will force you to respond quickly and efficiently. Your time is valuable and you don’t need to waste it responding to emails.
Another huge distraction is your cell phone. Your phone is always looking to get your attention and a significant amount of time is wasted when using it. This is why you need to put the phone down.
Your phone is always always there to distract you. You need to take the necessary steps to limit its use. Put it in a drawer, in a bag, or somewhere else where you can’t look at it. Put it face down or limit the apps that can make sounds during specific times of the day. Uninstall apps that you don’t use very often, but are constantly looking to grab your attention.
When you get home from work don’t just sit on the couch and grab your phone or turn on the TV. I know you had a long day and I know you might feel like you are tired. I am here to tell you that you are cutting yourself short. You feel tired because you have conditioned yourself to feel tired. You tell yourself that you had a long and hard day at work and you deserve this.
Try replacing that time with something productive. Replace that time learning a new skill or hobby. It can be anything from cooking, to writing, web development, or even reading a book to better yourself. Choose to do things that bring new value to your life. After a while, you may just find you can start a side hustle with your newfound skills.
The Choice is Yours – Make it a Productive One
You have a choice to make every day. You can start your day with no intention. You can meander around and hope you hit on doing something productive. Every once in a while you may hit on accomplishing a productive task, but more often than not, you are just wasting your time.
Start your day off right. Start your day off with intention and with purpose. Attack your day head-on and seize the time that you have. Every moment is a potential opportunity, an opportunity to grow and become a better you. Achieving your dreams starts here and with hard work. Become a person that is insanely productive and I will show you a person that is going to reach great heights.