How to Have Your Most Productive Day Yet
I'll admit, I used to have a serious problem with workaholism. Day or night, it didn't matter. I would be working. And yet, while I did get some intrinsic rewards from my dedication to staying busy, other parts of my life suffered. Isolation is a hefty issue for most solo entrepreneurs, and even more so if they tend to take work "home" with them.
Now, I value life balance above all else. I love my work, and I've found I feel my best when I also give myself enough time each day for family, exercise, cleaning up, and some personal time as well. This doesn't mean that I give each of these categories equal shares of my time. While I may dedicate 4-5 hours per day to work, I certainly don't want to dedicate the same amount of time to cleaning or relaxation. It would be too much.
Finding a life balance that works for you is all about giving yourself an appropriate amount of time for each task, and scheduling it in a way that works well for you. If you want to have a truly productive day, it is important that you plan out your day on paper, in advance. Some of the most productive and creative people in history used daily time blocking to reach their full potential. Benjamin Franklin was one of the most notable proponents of daily planning, as well as Maya Angelou, Charles Darwin, and Voltaire.
Principles of Planning Your Day for Maximum Productivity
- Identify when you work best on certain projects. My day is most productive and flexible if I exercise right after breakfast. It energizes me for the rest of the day, and I don't feel that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to get it done. What works for you? If you are a night owl, plan to get your best work done in the evening. If you love to bounce out of bed in the morning ready to start your day, plan to clean up and get to work in the early hours. Don't try to make yourself work on a schedule that is unnatural to how you operate. You won't be very productive, and you'll probably feel bad too. Work with your strengths.
- Split up taxing activities into different times to maximize your productivity. Did you know that most people work the best in 90-120 minute chunks? Our method of sitting down for 8 hours per day to work is actually terribly inefficient. Your brain simply can't focus and be truly productive for that many hours at once. Consider breaking up your tougher commitments into a few different times per day, preferably with some relaxation or exercise time in between.
- Make it easy to handle the harder tasks of your day. Not sure what to eat for breakfast every morning? Make something up the night before so you don't have to work too hard on it. Having a bit of trouble getting yourself into exercise mode? Lay out your workout clothes ahead of time and plan to put them on as soon as you get out of bed. Finding a way to ease your tougher daily tasks is essential to following through.
My Flexible Day Plan
7:30am - Start waking up
- Have a quick breakfast and take my vitamins
- Feed the cats and the turtles
8:00am- Quick 20 minute exercise routine
- 50 squats
- 10 push ups
- 30 leg circles (each side)
- Standard plank - 30 seconds
- Side plank - both sides, 30 seconds each
- 30 bridge lifts
- 30 butt lifts
- 30 jumping jacks
8:30am - Hop in the shower
- Brush teeth
- Quick hair care routine
- Apply makeup
9:00 am - Get dressed!
9:15 am - Straighten the house (20 mins)
9:45am - First work period (2-3 hours)
~ 1:00 pm- Take care of any errands that need to be done.
~ 2:30-3pm- Come home for the day.
Read, relax, enjoy personal time until 4pm.
4:00pm- Start dinner.
4:30pm- Do 15 minutes exercise of my choice (circuit training, walking, spinning, etc)
5:00pm- Work for 1-2 hours.
~7:00pm- Spend time with Chris and eat dinner together
- Visit with family if desired
8:00pm- All screens turned off for the night.
9:00pm- Get in bed, read, relax to wind down.
9:30pm- Lights out.
Question: What one productivity hack as helped you the most in recent years?
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