You know those days where you feel like you didn’t accomplish much even though you sat at your desk the entire time? Well, i'm here to tell you that it can be a thing of the past if you set your mind to it. Below we will go through 6 tips that I use personally in order to help make the most out of my day and my to-do list! (Cause where’s the fun of a to-do list if you can’t check off those tasks?!)
1. Eliminate distractions
Distractions can come in so many different forms and the worst ones are those that sneak up on you and let you lose hours of your day doing practically nothing. So the first thing to do before starting your day is to clear out your work space and make sure that the room you’re working in is somehow tidy because there's nothing worse than being absorbed in your work and glance up to see a dirty floor or work surface. That is a distraction, and if you’re anything like me, then it will trigger your cleaning instincts and there goes two hours of your day. A trick that’s worked for me (working from home) is to tidy everything up before i go to bed. At Least the space that I work in. If I don't see it while i work then it can wait.
2. Create a morning routine
One thing that throws me off balance is an unclear morning routine. There are things that you need to accomplish every morning. Whether its replying to emails, doing some admin work or dealing with orders. These things need to be kept in a routine. Dedicate half an hour or even two hours of your morning to do the tasks that need to be accomplished on a daily basis. Sometimes your morning routine may include things like meditation, yoga, reading a book, watching the news or just about anything to help start your day on a good note. So write down your ideal morning with exact timing and the things you need to accomplish and use that to help guide your day on the right foot because this way, your brain knows what it needs to do and it's ready to be productive from the get go. No guesswork.
After your morning routine comes your to-do list. This is where you prioritise your tasks from the ‘must be done today’ to tasks that ‘can be finished within the week’. The main goal here is to select 3 tasks that you can accomplish on that day so that even if the rest are not ticked off, you have still been able to get your core tasks done and over with. By prioritising your to do list, you gain insight on the issues that are more urgent and need your attention
What I mean by focus is that while working, you need to concentrate on one task at a time. It’s so easy to start doing one thing and let that go to do something else that was at the back of your mind. Instead you should focus on one task and get that accomplished before heading on to the next one. A great way to do this is to set a time-frame to get that task finished. The risk of not focusing on one task is that at the end of the day, you find yourself only halfway done with your tasks which leaves you feeling unaccomplished and that's not the right way to end your day.
5. Take breaks
In between your day, you must take breaks away from your desk. Go for a walk, read a chapter in your favourite book, get yourself a snack or anything that can help reset your brain and bring back your focus to the task at hand. This is a great way to get off steam when work is just not going your way or view your work in another light when you need to make a decision.
6. Learn to say no
Finally you need to learn to say no! If you’re day is already planned and your friend or coworker randomly asks you to do something with them then just say no. Unless it’s a life or death situation, anything can be rescheduled to a better time. The consequences of not saying no is that you lose your groove and throw off your day completely and you find yourself frustrated the next day because now you have more work that needs your attention. Also, people around you will not take your schedule seriously!
I know that getting to that productive state of mind is a process but i hope that these 6 tips can help you get the ball rolling!
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