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Last Updated on May 30, 2019

13 Things to Put on Your Daily Checklist for Increased Productivity

13 Things to Put on Your Daily Checklist for Increased Productivity

Did you know that many C-level executives play computer games at work to “feel more productive”? It is ironical, but it’s the truth today. People are using whatever they can to become (more) productive and daily checklists are just one of the things.

But there is a good way and a bad way to create a daily checklist. One will super boost your productivity, the other one will be a mind-numbing task which you will stop doing in two days.

To avoid the latter, I have devised only 13 things you need to have on your daily checklist to super boost your productivity and it starts with your morning routine.

Whatever you do in life, you need to have a morning routine which is consistent. It is your anchor for starting the day and if you skip it, your entire day will be off track. There is a reason a phrase “start off the day on the wrong foot” persisted over millennia.

I won’t tell you what your morning routine should be because nobody can tell you that, but what I can tell you is that it should have certain elements and they are the following.

1. Sleep for 8 Hours

You need to sleep for 8 hours. Period. There is a plethora of research which says that you need 8 hours of sleep to be productive and cognitively optimal during the day.

But what is even scarier is that there is a ton of research done on the effects lack of sleep brings to people and the results are devastating.

So if you want to be productive, sleep would be the first thing on your daily checklist.

2. Early Physical Activity

I don’t mean an hour-long session in the gym. You can do that if that’s your things, but by this, I mean simple stretching, maybe a 10-minute walk, or a short 5 to 7 minutes long exercise.

You just need something to wake up your body and get the blood flow going. One example would be Tony Robbins who jumps into his pool and swims a couple of laps.

Use whatever physical exercise works for you for as long as you need to wake up.

3. Eat Some (Healthy) Food

Food gets energy in your body early in the morning and wakes up your mind in a different way than exercise.

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You need food in the morning and I hope you will eat something healthy because that has the best benefits for your mind and for your body.

There are multiple diets out there that tell you that their diet is the best diet. Try out a couple of different diets and stick with the one which suits you the best. Remember, the goal of the daily checklist is that only needs to work for a single person – for you.

4. Do Your Favorite Unproductive Activity

An unproductive activity in the morning in an article on daily productivity using a checklist? Yes, I understand the irony but remember the C-level executives?

You Are Not A Robot.

You are a human being and we need fun, unproductive, and lazy time. If you spend 10 to 20 minutes in the morning doing your favorite unproductive activity, you will settle down “the instant gratification monkey” everyone has inside of us.[1]

Once you’re done with it, you will clear it from your mind and carry on. Some people watch YouTube, some play Minesweeper or BubbleSpinner (guilty…), but you can do whatever you like. That’s why it’s your favorite unproductive activity.

5. Personal Reflection Time

It’s not necessarily meditation. Meditation is just one thing you can do for your personal reflection time. You can also spend a couple of minutes for yourself to center yourself for the upcoming day.

Some people call it gratitude,[2] but to me, it’s just personal reflection time. I do this by walking toward my workplace while listening to music.

It can be whatever works for your – a prayer, a minute of silence, sitting down in the car and doing nothing, etc.

6. A 10-Second Plan

Most people elaborate on their charts, sheets, daily plan through 7 different applications. And that’s why it doesn’t work.

You are smart. But like, really smart. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this.

You already know what the most important thing you have to do today is. If I gave you only 10 seconds right now to plan your day to be productive, that activity would be the only one in those 10 seconds.

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That is your plan for today.

Do only that for today and your day will be productive.

But that is easier said than done. I know. That’s why we are only at the half of the article. All of these above were the things that you do when you’re home or commuting. But now, let’s go over the things you do when you get to work.

7. Get Yourself into a Working Frame by Reading

When they get to work, most people first sit down, open their browser and randomly scroll the internet for half an hour.

But not you. You know better.

You should sit down and open up a book or an article which is related to your field of work. This is really important. Once you read an article or a couple of pages of a book which is related to your field of work, your brain will put a focus on that information and it will start producing some marvelous ideas and solutions.

The most important thing here is that it can’t be scrolling over Facebook or Instagram. It needs to be something which puts your mind into the right field and working state.

Before writing this article, I reread certain parts of Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto, Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits, and Eric Barker’s Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

Put yourself into the right frame of mind and you’re almost there.

8. Kill Distractions

Okay, if Jenny from the office is a distraction, don’t literally kill her- it’s just a phrase. But I used the word kill for a specific reason.

You need to behave toward distractions in that kind of a way. Kill it wherever you deem possible.

Put your front page on your browser to something which won’t seduce you into procrastinating. Use headphones even if you don’t listen to music because your colleagues will know that you mean business when they are on. Close the doors and shut the drapes. Turn off Wi-Fi on your phone.

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No distractions make you work – because there is nothing else to do and your brain is already in that state of mind.

Take a look at these tips on How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done.

9. When Tired, Rest. Don’t Quit!

Since I’m a writer, taking a nap in the middle of the day to rest is a possibility and almost a daily occurrence for me (sometimes I take a long walk instead).

You will get tired during the day and when that happens, don’t try to push through it. Simply stop working and go rest.

The problem here is that nobody ever taught us how to rest and our culture looks at that as laziness. There is a major difference between the two, but the most important thing when resting is that you 100% rest. So no working, no thinking about working, and no working (I had to re-state that for some workaholics out there).

I was writing an article which was a summary of every single personal development book I read in the past two years (90 books in total).[3] The article took me two months and 100+ hours to finish. But I learned to rest when I was tired, so I managed to finish it even though the size of it is comparable to a book.

When tired, rest. Don’t quit. When necessary, schedule downtime for yourself too.

10. Know When the Day Is Done

I’ve seen people who are super productive themselves, but they think that they are lazy and unproductive because there is always more you can do.

That is the problem of not knowing when the day is done.

Point 6 was “A 10-seconds plan.” If you managed to finish that in the day, it was a productive day and the day is done. Nothing more, nothing less. You did the one thing you planned for the day. Don’t torture yourself thinking that you need to work 16 hours a day to be productive. That’s not productivity, that’s torture.

Stop when you’re done and call it a day.

11. Track Your Day

This comes at the end of the article and the day because you need to check things off the daily checklist.

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By tracking your day, you realize what you did and didn’t do for that day. After a couple of days of working everything from your checklist, the goal becomes not to “break the chain.” This is something attributed to Jerry Seinfeld who, when asked how he became a great comedian, responded:

“I just wrote one joke a day and then tried not to break the chain on my calendar.”

Track your daily checklist because you will grow a habit of doing it.

You may want to make use of these apps to keep track of your day: 24 Best Habit Tracking Apps

12. Reward Yourself

The best thing after a productive day is the reward you get by being productive.

Don’t ignore this thing on your daily checklist. If you’ve done everything from the checklist, give yourself a proper reward for that. It will make your brain remember the activity as pleasurable and it will become easier for you to do it.

Learn to celebrate small wins so you’ll stay motivated and keep up the momentum.

13. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

A checklist is a tool which you use; so understand that over time, your life, work, job, situation, and position will change. And alongside that, your daily checklist will change as well.

Realize that the things which got you in this position doesn’t necessarily have to be the things that will get you further along. Things change and your checklist should change accordingly.

The Bottom Line

You now have all the 13 things for your daily checklist which will make you super productive. Put it somewhere visible where it can look at you every single morning and every single evening.

That will remind you to do the activities from the checklist. And if you keep doing it, eventually, it will bring you massive results.

Every journey, no matter how long, always begins the same way – with a single step. You’ve already made two steps – you’ve read this article and learned what you need to have on your daily checklist. The third step is implementation and it’s yours to make.

More Articles About Productive Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Bruno Boksic

An expert in habit building

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits What Is a Routine? 9 Ways Routines Make Your Life Easier 13 Things to Put on Your Daily Checklist for Increased Productivity How to Break Bad Habits (The Only Effective Way) How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

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Last Updated on August 16, 2019

10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

1. Cal Calendar

    Cal Calendar has recently appeared on the market of mobile applications (Android, iOS). It is the brainchild of the development team of Any.do that features impressive functionality and well-thought-out design.

    The application comes with many great features, including support for Exchange and Google Calendar, widgets, voice recording, and many more.

    Cal Calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

    Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

    What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

    Cal Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

    Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

    Available for iOS and Android

    2. Google Calendar

      Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

      Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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      Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

      The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

      Available for iOS and Android

      3. Jorte Calendar

        Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

        The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

        Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

        For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

        A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

        Available for iOS and Android

        4. Business Calendar

          Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

          The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

          You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

          The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

          Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

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          Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

          Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

          A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

          Available for Android

          5. aCalendar

            aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

            Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

            Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

            When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

            Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

            The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

            The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

            Available for Android

            6. DigiCal Calendar

              DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

              With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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              Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

              The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

              Available for Android

              7. SolCalendar

                SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                Available for Android

                8. Calendar

                  Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                  A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                  Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                  Available for Desktop, iOS and Android

                  9. Today Calendar

                    Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                    The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                    If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                    Available for Android

                    10. Calendar Widget: Month

                      Sometimes people do not need a heap of calendar applications. They would prefer to have one efficient calendar widget.

                      Calendar Widget: Month perfectly fills this niche and meets all the needs of a modern user. It has some features of an ordinary calendar, but the real great thing about this software is that it has 80 or more themes in its library.

                      The design of the application is great; the themes are perfectly tuned. There are options for almost any theme of your smartphone. The only drawback is the fact that the widget memory is not too large, and you should be ready for it.

                      This simple calendar widget was created in the image and semblance of widgets from Yahoo. The widget window displays one calendar month with the ability to go to the previous and move to the next one.

                      If you need a simple and affordable calendar to plan your tasks and affairs for one month, this widget is ideal for you. Calendar Widget: Month is so simple that it does not even have Google Calendar support.

                      At the moment, it does not have the function of connecting any third-party calendars and services. Developers allow the possibility of introducing support for Google service as an addition to the widget, if users request to have this opportunity.

                      Available for Android

                      Our Verdict

                      Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                      Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                      Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                      The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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