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How To Have The Most Productive Day Of Your Life

How To Have The Most Productive Day Of Your Life

There are many tricks and tips to being productive, but ultimately what people are looking for is that perfect day of work when they’re immensely proud of what they’ve produced. Here is an outline you can follow that might help you achieve the most productive day of your life.

1. Make A To-Do List The Day Before

It’s bad strategy to wait until the day of to make plans. Be sure to make a realistic but ambitious to-do list, either with a great task management app like WunderlistEvernote, or 2Do or just with plain old pen and paper. That way you’ll be ready the next day to sink your teeth into your work.

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2. Fill Your To-Do List With Things You Genuinely Want To Do

The trick to being hyper-productive is to do things that truly interest you. If it’s the most productive day of your life, you probably won’t be doing dishes or picking up dry cleaning, you’ll be dedicating yourself to a passion project. That project should be something that you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to truly committing to. That could be writing a novel, recording a record, or a host of other things. By focusing on your passion you will have all the more motivation to have the most productive day ever.

3. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The best way to prepare yourself for a productive day is to recharge your batteries to 100 percent. Get at least 8 hours of sleep and don’t use phone or computer screens that will ruin your sleep cycle for a couple hours before bed. I recommend reading a book (a physical one, not an e-book) that really inspires you. A great option is a biography of one of your biggest idols, planting the idea that you can be as accomplished as him.

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4. Wake Up Naturally

If possible, it’s best to avoid the screech of an old-fashioned alarm clock or even the soothing sound of a pleasant ringtone when you wake up. If you got that good night’s sleep I talked about, it should be completely doable to wake up on your own, well-rested and ready to go.

5. Do Your Morning Rituals

Just because this is going to be an extraordinary day doesn’t mean you should avoid your ordinary activities. Go through the daily rituals, whether that be a cup of coffee with the newspaper or a morning run.

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6. Do the Next Thing on the List

Now it’s time to get to work. Getting started is well-documented as one of the hardest parts of productivity, so begin with a task that you really look forward to doing. You’ll start off your day on a high note, which will give you the energy to push through at least a few more things on your to-do list.

7. Keep Checking Off To-Dos

This is when you get most of your work done. With the energy boost you got from that fun first task, get busy on the more grueling stuff. As you’re doing that, keep reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing: so that you can accomplish something truly meaningful today. That knowledge should be a constant driver to push through the fatigue.

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8. Do Your Favorite Thing

Save your absolute favorite task for the end of the day. That way, as you’re pushing through the middle of your workday, you can always remember what you have waiting for you as a reward at the end of the road. Plus, you deserve to treat yourself after you’ve had such an insanely productive day!

Featured photo credit: Matt Gibson via https

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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