Advertising

How To Have The Most Productive Day Of Your Life

How To Have The Most Productive Day Of Your Life
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

More by this author

Matt OKeefe

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

The 10 Best Online Dictionaries Is Avoiding Difficult Tasks And Doing Easy Tasks First Less Productive? 5 Ways to Manifest Anything You Want in Your Life 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted) 15 Easy Ways For Everyone To Make Money With Social Media

Trending in Productivity

1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Advertising

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next