If you’ve ever complained that you don’t have enough hours in a day to accomplish all the things that you need to do, you’re not alone. We’ve all had those days when you’re bombarded with the pressures of checking all your to-do list, but to no avail. If you want to reach your day’s full productivity, here are nine ways to make the most out of your time.
1. Plan your day, the day before
Your day does not start in the morning but instead, the night before it. So planning for your day even before it started matters just as much as what you do the whole day. When you go on with your day without any plan, you tend to let yourself get away with some tasks until there’s no other choice but to do it.
But through thoughtful planning, you have a constant reminder of what you should be doing RIGHT NOW. At the end of each day, write down the five most important things that you need to accomplish for tomorrow. Doing this lets you focus on your to-do list and avoid distractions.
2. Know your morning routine
To kickstart your morning, try to think about that one thing that sets you in the mood in and try to incorporate it into your routine. Whether it’s listening to your power playlist, having a cup of coffee, bullet journaling or whatever it is, sticking to it can clear your mind and set you up for a productive day.
3. Do things one task at a time
Multitasking actually takes longer time compared to doing things one at a time. Want to know why? It’s because you tend to shift your mind back and forth. Everytime you get distracted, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task. Slow down a little and tick off tasks from your list one by one.
4. Shoo away distractions
Focusing on one thing at a time won’t be possible if you keep your checking on your phone because of emails and notifications. In fact, just seeing your phone light up can already mess with your momentum. Set a definite time on checking email. Turn-off notifs from apps that you don’t need at the moment and best, put down your phone.
5. Have a break
Working all day straight can cause more harm to you than good. Having some quick breaks or rest can give you enough energy throughout the day. “Pomodoro Technique” is where you use a timer and schedule short breaks. Five minutes break after 25 minutes of focused work.
6. Be a hack ninja
No matter how hard-working you are, it’s best to have someone or something to help you out. Learn how to automate repetitive tasks. Teach yourself some keyboard shortcuts. There are also apps that can help boost your productivity like smart study planners and schedulers.
7. Set your priorities
The Eisenhower Matrix is a good strategy in planning your tasks in a day. Use the decision matrix below on working on your tasks:
- Urgent and important (do it now).
- Important, but not urgent (schedule and do ASAP).
- Urgent, but not important (delegate or delete).
- Neither urgent nor important (eliminate).
8. Use “yes” sparingly
Everyone loves a YES person. But sometimes, there really comes a point when you’re overloaded and just need to say NO. As a rule, don’t take things more than what you can handle.
9. Treat yo’ self
Reward yourself when you’ve reached a goal or milestone. It keeps you effective and motivated. But just remember to treat yourself in a healthy way. Instead of feeling wasted from last night’s party because you’re “celebrating”, why not have a spa or massage to replenish yourself?
Setting yourself up for success is not a one night process, but incorporating these practices can help you achieve more things than you might ever imagine.