In this month’s tips post I have decided to put together a list of things I’ve learnt over the years that make me have more productive days instead of unproductive ones. Obviously, I still have days where I get nothing done, or maybe I just feel like it when the reality could be different, but since making these 5 steps a routine in my days I have seen myself being a lot more productive, making the most out of my day and ticking more things off my to do list, which is hugely satisfying.
These may not work for everyone but they work for me and if you are looking for some inspiration on how to make your days more productive they are more than worth a try for you to. So here are my five top tips on how to have a more productive day:
1. Get up early
I’ve always been an early riser, I’ve never been one of those people that can lie in bed all day, even on a weekend when I was a teenager I was always up early. I’m one of those people that once I’m awake then I can’t get back to sleep at all. It’s a good thing for getting up on time but sometimes means I’m lacking on getting enough sleep which is a constant battle I have as I really don’t sleep that well anyway. Regardless, I find getting up to be a very good thing for being productive, I like to get things done in a morning, exercise, chores, boring tasks and I prefer any appointments in the morning too. I usually get up at 7am in the week and even at the weekends half 8 is a lie in. It may not work for everyone but for me the amount of stuff I can get done in the morning and my guilt if I spend half of the day in bed is a huge motivation to carry on getting up early.
Around 6 years ago I decided to drastically change my life and lose the weight I’d been carrying since my early teens when I was put on medication that made me gain weight fast. I’d always avoided sport at school but exercising on my own I love, at first it was a huge struggle, I was overweight and very unfit but over the years I’ve lost over 6 stone and maintained my exercise regime exercising at least 5 days every week. At one point I even joined a gym and I went for around a year but I hated it and it demotivated me so much, I prefer working out at home on my own where no one can see me. For me, a productive exercise regime is a good mix of cardio workouts, a weights workout and ending the week on yoga to really relax and help my muscles recuperate a little. I may not be looking to lose weight now like I was before but it is a regime I’ve stuck to that keeps me fit, makes me more productive in terms of giving me more energy and waking me up in the morning energising me for the day and honestly it is 30 minutes to an hour of the day that I truly enjoy.
3. Make a to do list the night before if possible
The best way to keep my productivity up I find is making a to do list the night before so straight away the next morning I can already see what needs to be done that day. Obviously other things crop up during the day that need to be tackled straight away but having a list to work to is a great way to stay motivated and productive and who doesn’t love ticking off jobs and feeling hugely satisfied by that. I also tend to make a weekly to do list on a Sunday for the blog and in general with important tasks that need to be done that week and then during the week I can check out what I’m doing and slot those tasks into days when they will best suit the time I have to do them. It is a system that really works for me as I like to see right there what needs to be done and if I don’t write things down I usually forget so it helps me to remember jobs and tasks too. They don’t have to be boring either stick them on coloured paper or in cute pads and make that to do list look more appealing.
4. Have a good soundtrack for all occasions
I don’t know about you but I really need music to work to, I don’t mind silence and I prefer quiet to general noise or the TV on in the background but my preference is a decent playlist. I spend a lot of time reviewing music anyway so I usually always have music on in order to write about it but when I’m writing more general, non-music posts like this one I like to stick on either an album I love or haven’t heard in a while, a playlist I’ve made or have 6Music on as they play such a great array of songs. It’s not just blog work or writing that I need a good soundtrack for though, I need a soundtrack for cleaning, baking and exercising too. Obviously each is very different with my exercise playlist being quite fast paced where as my baking playlist is a bit more chilled but having the music on in the background helps me concentrate on what I’m doing and stops me getting distracted by other things going on around me.
5. Don’t ignore the boring stuff, tackle it early and get it out of the way
I guess this one is the most important point but also the one even I struggle with the most. Getting the boring stuff out of the way before tackling other things. Things like answering emails, sorting out paperwork/bank statements, cleaning my room all are boring tasks that I hate but they need to be done so every couple of weeks for cleaning/paperwork and every day or two for emails I set time to tackle these things. Usually they don’t take as long as and aren’t as stressful as I think they will be but still every time the dread sets in. I think setting aside time for these tasks that is scheduled in much like an appointment is a great way to make sure you tackle them and it is the only way I have so far found to make sure I don’t put them off and that they get done. If you have any other ideas about how to make sure I tackle to boring tasks then do let me know as I’m open to trying new ideas on this topic.
So there we go my top 5 tips for having a productive day, I hope these tips help you if you are struggling with being productive and let me know your tips on staying productive and getting things done.