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6 Top Ways to Improve Your Daily Routine

6 Top Ways to Improve Your Daily Routine

Are you always in a hurry yet never manage to complete your work before deadline? Are you consumed by jealousy for people who have a much greater workload but manage to do their job in half the time? You’ve probably tried to improve your daily routine, but with no results. Nobody has more than 24 hours in a day, but some people seem to always get much more done than others. How do they do it?

The answer certainly isn’t some supernatural ability: it is simply effective use of time. Just use your willpower and our tips to make the most of your everyday life. You’ll find that you’ll be able to improve your daily routine right away.

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1. Optimize your work

The best rest is change of work. Break up your workday into interchanging periods of 45 and 15 minutes, and switch between tasks. Try to make sure the tasks are completely different from one another. Looks like a waste of time? Try it out and see how your output changes.

2. Set up a schedule

In order to minimize time loss on transitions from one activity to another you should make sure you always know when and for how long you are going to do each task. If you always start doing something at exactly the same time every day it will soon become an ingrained habit, saving you precious minutes otherwise spent on deciding what to do next.

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3. Minimizing time wasted on routines

There are millions of tips on how to reduce time spent on mundane activities like cooking and home cleaning, but one thing works surprisingly well: set the amount of time you are willing to spend on them each week and each day and never exceed it. You will be surprised how resourceful you become in the face of a self-imposed deadline.

4. Include exercise in your daily schedule

More and more people today understand that physical exercise is good for them. What a lot of people don’t get is that in order to reap any benefits from exercise, it needs to be systematic, regular and, preferably, daily.

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If you really want to improve the quality of your life you should have at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week. It will not only make you feel better, but also increase your clarity of mind, quality of sleep, and general productivity.

5. Maintaining your productivity throughout the day

Establish and define your workspace. This is especially important if you work at home, but even if you spend your day in a cubicle it will pay off. Make sure that the place where you work is exactly this—the place where you work. It shouldn’t be associated with any other activities, like chatting or watching TV.

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In addition, make sure your workspace is healthy. It should get plenty of light and air and your chair and desk should be comfortable. Again, if you work at home it may be a good idea to do a mold testing. The presence of harmful molds may severely affect the quality of air, which in turn will affect your productivity and may have long-term health consequences.

6. Use tools that will help you concentrate

In the Internet age distractions are perhaps an even greater enemy of productivity than at any previous historical period. But in order to fight them you may be able to use the very place they come from. The Web is rife with online tools that help you concentrate on the task at hand. Some block distracting sites while you work, others help you track how much time you waste, others isolate you from social networks.

Only you can define how productive your life is going to be. Figure out how to really improve your daily routine and you may accomplish twice as much as you used to, in half the time. Hopefully these tips will help you make the first step.

Featured photo credit: Deadlines/Flee via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Melissa is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She writes about communication, entrepreneurship and success on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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