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Productive Daily Routine That Works Well For Both Early Birds And Night Owls

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Productive Daily Routine That Works Well For Both Early Birds And Night Owls

Following a productive daily routine is a great way to improve your productivity. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you will need to decide when to do this routine. Many successful people complete their daily success routine in the morning or in the evening.

1. Use your high energy time for high value tasks

Over the course of the day, your energy level will change. If you wake up slowly and hit your stride later in the day, then it makes sense to schedule important meetings and activities later in the day. How do you determine your high energy time? The best approach is to simply experiment over a few days – attempt to do high value tasks at different times of the day. Before long, you will determine what times suit you best.

Resource: To deepen your knowledge of personal energy management, read “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr

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2. Do “brain dead” tasks during slow periods

Everyone has boring tasks to work through to keep their work and lives in order. You might have to install updates on your computer once a week to keep all of your programs working smoothly. These tasks often fall into the “maintenance” category – ignore them at your own risk. You can also use this time to reduce clutter around the office or at home – a few minutes of organization effort each day go a long way to maintaining order.

Completing a few maintenance tasks during your in-between time is a great way to end your day on a strong note.

3. Read from a book every day to expand your knowledge

Seeking new ideas, knowledge and inspiration from books is one of the most important actions for your daily routine. You can use daily reading time to build technical knowledge (e.g. read a “For Dummies” book about a computer program you want to learn). You could also use this time to refresh yourself by reading fiction: author Tim Ferriss recommends, “Read fiction that engages the imagination and demands present-state attention” as part of your evening routine.”

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Tip: Get started by reading 11 Books To Make You Lead A Much More Productive Life.

4. Write your to do list for the day

A Weekly Review habit is a key habit that many successful people practice each week. However, a weekly review is not enough to maintain focus on the results that matter to you. A great approach is to answer the question posed by the 5 Minute Journal: “What would make today great?” (and keep the answer to a maximum of three tasks).

Tip: There’s an art to writing an effective to do list. Discover how to write Your Task List.

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5. Observe “Amish hour” (no technology for 1 hour before bed)

Technology is one of the great blessings of our age. We can get work done faster than before, learn new ideas from people around the world and much more. However, too much technology use makes it difficult to get to sleep. The light from TVs, computers and other devices signals your mind that sleep is still hours away.

For the best results, practice the Amish hour habit developed by Neville Medhora – no technology for an hour before bed. You can use that time to read, reflect on your time and go through your evening routine.

6. Write down one idea on how you could have made the day better.

Reflecting on your day to find lessons and improvement opportunities is one of the best productivity habits. If you are in sales, you could reflect on your presentations to customers. You could also reflect on ways to communicate better. Becoming better each day is much easier than attempting to make dramatic improvements once a month (or once a year). You can also reflect on how on your conflict management skills.

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Featured photo credit: Notebook/lacarabeis via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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