Advertising
Advertising

24 Steps for the Most Productive 24-Hour Day

24 Steps for the Most Productive 24-Hour Day

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a saying that demonstrates the need for time to create great things. Mastering a skill, craft, or habit can take a long time – sometimes years.

John Heywood, who was an English playwright from hundreds of years ago, put a remarkable twist onto this famous saying: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” According to Heywood, Rome is just the result and the bricks are the system. The system is greater than the goal.

Whether you want to launch a successful business, get promoted to a management position within your company, or invent the next big social media network, in order to reach your goal, a brick by brick approach is going to have to be taken from the moment you get up until the second you fall asleep.

Envisioning the entire day ahead of you can be a daunting task. Whether you have deadlines to meet, a flight to catch or important meetings to attend, making sure you have a positive outlook for the day ahead is crucial for being able to tackle issues and accomplish goals.

Throughout the span of 24 hours, a great deal of work can be achieved for the most productive 24-hour day.

1. Wake Up Early

This might sound difficult to pull off, but doing so will provide you with more time to accomplish important tasks and activities.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is known for getting up early and sending out company emails at 4:30 in the morning. According to an article by CBS, emails sent from 6 am to 7 am are about three times more likely to be opened than emails sent at 4 pm. Many CEOs and top-level executives wake up in the early morning. What is holding you back?

With limited distractions in the morning, this time has the potential to be your most productive part of the day.

2. Visually See Your Goals

Jeff Gittomore, author of The Sales Bible, suggests that you put your goals in front of your face. Write your goals on Post-It Notes on your bathroom mirror and read them twice a day until they’re accomplished. Then post them on your bedroom mirror.

Visually seeing your goals each and every day will not allow for you to forget about what you are trying to accomplish.  Looking at your goals each day will make your 24-hours more productive.

3. Watch Motivational Videos 

Let’s face it; projects at work aren’t going to go perfectly 100% of the time. It can be hard to stay motivated if something doesn’t go your way. Each day before you open your first email, watch a motivational clip online to get your mindset in the right place.

Zig Ziglar is a master for motivating individuals, businessmen and businesswomen.

When you watch a short and positive video to start the day, your mind will start thinking optimistically, which will provide you with a positive outlook for the day

4. Leave Drama Behind

If you want to be able to concentrate properly at work, there cannot be drama and stress weighing over your head. If you got into an argument with your significant other the night before, make sure to make up before you start the workday.

Advertising

According to helpguide.com, emotional intelligence is built by reducing stress. The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence will help reduce your stress level. This will lead to a more productive day.

5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

According to WebMD, adults need to eat breakfast each and every day in order to perform at their optimal levels. Eating a wholesome, nutritious morning meal will get your body feeling great.

By recharging your brain and body, you’ll be more efficient in just about everything you do.

6. Write Down Daily Goals

The author of The Sales Bible, Jeffery Gittimore, suggested looking at your long-term goals each and every day.

There is nothing better than accomplishing a task from your “to-do” list and being able to cross it off your checklist. Writing down daily goals will help you stay more organized and accomplish more.

7. Stay Hydrated

When you are putting in long work hours over the course of 24 hours, it is vital to hydrate your body so it can perform mentally and physically at its peak level.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

Make sure to drink 8 glasses of water per day and you will see your energy levels over the course of the day start to increase.

8. Check Fewer Emails

In the digital age that we live in, it is hard to unplug from our desktop and mobile devices. This can also result in an obsession with checking email.

When you are constantly checking and responding to emails, you will be less productive with other tasks that you are trying to accomplish.

According to a study out of the University of British Columbia, the average person checks email 15 times a day. Amazingly, the study suggests three times is the right amount to keep added stress away.

Start checking your inbox less frequently and start accomplishing more. You will feel like a completely new person with the added time you have by not obsessing over your inbox J

9. Do Something that Makes You Happy

If you enjoy reading your local newspaper on the weekends, start incorporating this into your daily routine. If you are waking up earlier each day, there will be more time to do activities that you actually enjoy doing.

Life is too short not to enjoy each and every day. Incorporating an activity that makes you happy should be a part of your 24-hour schedule.

Advertising

10. Workout

The combination of work and family in addition to errands can make 24-hours seem like a short time span. Even if you don’t have the time for a long workout, doing some type of physical activity will be extremely beneficial for your health.

According to US News & World Report, exercising increases your productivity and gets your endorphins going.

Do a quick set of 25 pushups and 25 sit-ups each and every morning or in the evening before you go to bed. This will get your heart rate going and provide you with more energy.

Your physical and mental health will improve if you incorporate some type of workout into your daily routine.

11. Less Meetings

Thomas Sowell, an American economist, said, “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”

An article from Forbes suggests scheduling meetings for half of the time you originally intended to. If the meeting is scheduled for a shorter time span, the agenda can likely still get covered in a quicker and more efficient manner.

12. Reduced Commute Time

I have a business acquaintance in New York that commutes into the city 90-minutes each way.

Luckily, I am able to walk to my office within 10-minutes based off of the great location of my apartment. By having a much less drastic commute time, I’m able to save 15-hours per week compared to the New York businessman.

Sometimes, your living situation can be hard to change. If you have the opportunity to make your commute shorter, this can greatly increase your effectiveness in the office and enhance your overall style of life outside of the workplace.

Imagine having an extra 3-hours per day for either the gym or to read your favorite magazine? By reducing your commute time, this daily schedule change can become a reality.

13. Do something that makes you uncomfortable

Science has proven that doing something that scares you will make you more productive.

Whether you decide to strike up a conversation in the elevator with a stranger or cold a CEO to try and land a meeting, you should make it a goal each day to do 3-things that make you uncomfortable. Each day

We are creators of habit and are known to get stuck in monotonous routines. Doing something that makes you uncomfortable each day will allow for you to stand out amongst the competition and accomplish goals you never thought could be achieved.

14. Don’t Hold Grudges

The Mayo Clinic states that letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for happiness, health and peace.

Advertising

Grudges typically pertain to events that have happened in the past. Make sure to focus on the present moment and the future and not waste your time on something that can’t be changed from the past.

Confucius said it best. “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”

15. Reach Out to Influencers

Let’s say that you have been reading a specific sports blogs over the past few years and continue to find inspiration from this columnist. You like the content so much that you have contemplated starting your own sports blog!

Find this blogger’s contact information and reach out to him or her! Tell the blogger how much inspiration his or her articles have given you. You will be pleasantly surprised by how often someone will appreciate the kind words and respond to you.

Whether the response is through a tweet or an email, hearing back from someone to whom you look up can provide you with a huge boost of motivation.

If you reach out to someone you admire each day, the influential people that you will end up meeting will amaze you this will drastically grow your network.

16. Write A Journal Entry Each Day

Psychcentral.com states, “There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being.”

You can learn a lot from going back in time and looking through all of your journal entries. You will be able to see the growth you have achieved and remember both the good and bad times in your business and personal endeavors.

You never know if the journal entry from today will lead to your next big business endeavor or great invention. Venting in the form of written communication is also a great stress reliever.

17. Face-to-Face Meeting

With our reliance on social media and smart phones, face-to-face interaction seems to be forgotten at times.

Make sure to schedule a face-to-face meeting during your day. Whether this is with your best friend for happy hour or your college professor, it is always a nice feeling when you can talk with someone in-person about what is happening in your life.

If you hold more face-to-face meetings each day, more important events will happen in your life.

18. Don’t Multi-Task

Focus on just one task at a time and do it with your full focus. This creates less stress and will allow for better results and less chaos.

Don’t be scared to turn down projects. There is nothing worse than doing multiple projects with a mediocre result. Instead, focus on one-task and hit a homerun with that project.

Advertising

19. Drink Coffee

Some people might not need caffeine in their life, which is a great feat in and of itself!

Having a cup or two of coffee before lunch can give your workday a nice jump-start with the added fuel. Just make sure not to drink too much, otherwise you can be a jittery mess.

Drinking coffee on a daily basis can give you a nice boost of energy to accomplish more over the span of 24-hours.

20. Plan Ahead

At the end of each day, plan ahead and make a “to do” list for all of the tasks you need to accomplish for the following day. Completing and checking off the items on your list will help motivate you to accomplish your project goals. This will also reduce stress when you plan ahead.

Alan Lakein states it best. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

21. Read Often

If you are in the real estate field, reading up on news within the industry help you stay fresh and relevant when it comes to your line of work.

Reading can also help you come up with fresh ideas. After all, if you are reading information pertinent to your industry, there will be many ideas that you have while observing the information.

Even if you read just for pleasure, this will help stimulate your brain on a daily basis while helping you develop more ideas. Start reading each day and incorporating this into your routine!

22. Organized Calendar

Maintaining a calendar for meetings, deadlines and events is an absolute must.

When there are a million and a half things taking place in your day, it is hard to remember information pertaining to the future. An organized calendar will help you be productive for future events.

23. Go to Bed Early

If you are watching television until midnight, you should change your habits and start getting a good eight hours of rest per night. Experts generally recommend seven to nine hours a night for healthy adults.

If you really want to make the most out of your 24-hours, you should start getting a good nights rest so you will have the proper energy to tackle all of the tasks that lay ahead of you.

24. Smile

Researchers at the University of Kansas found that the act of smiling has a positive effect on our happiness and physical health, helping the heart recover more quickly after stressful events.

More people want to be around someone that smiles. If you are happy, you will be amazed with what you will be able to accomplish with an optimistic attitude. Start smiling more each day and enjoying everything that your life has to offer. This will help in many areas of your life.

Featured photo credit: BigStock Photo via bigstockphoto.com

More by this author

12 Best Marketing Books To Grow Your Personal Brand 20 Goals to Achieve Success in Your 20s 24 Steps for the Most Productive 24-Hour Day

Trending in Productivity

116 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed 27 Surefire Ways to Become a Successful Writer 36 Characteristics of Successful People That Make Them Outstanding 4The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works) 515 Best Android Productivity Apps (2018 Version)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

Advertising

This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

Advertising

Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

Advertising

Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

Advertising

Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next