How to schedule your day to reach peak productivity
It’s completely natural to have good and bad days when it comes to being productive. Add to the mix a global pandemic and a new remote work setting, and it’s little wonder why increasing numbers of people feel they are spending their time less efficiently.
Follow these steps to regain your focus and get back to meeting your goals in no time.
1. Create a morning ritual before getting to work
Set the tone for the day and allow your body and mind to wake up before you log on to work.
Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs attribute their accomplishments to their morning routine. Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, says that having the first 90 minutes of his day planned out helps him feel more in control and increases his productivity for the rest of the day.
Here are a few activities you might incorporate into your morning routine:
- Make yourself a healthy breakfast
- Do some yoga
- Practice meditation
- Read the news or a good book
- Write about your dreams, thoughts, or ideas in a journal
- Take a walk
2. Make a daily to-do list
A to-do list can help you organize and rank your priorities and come up with a plan to check off your tasks one by one.
You can use your monthly calendar and other project deadlines to determine priorities and where you need to fit in certain tasks. Using a project management tool can also help you conceptualize long-term projects, and in turn, give you a better idea of how you should schedule your days.
3. Use time-tracking software to optimize efficiency
Even when you feel like you’re having your most productive days, time can be something of a mystery — how is it already 3 o’clock?! With apps like Timeular, you can analyze how much time you’re spending on different activities, making it easy to identify where ever minute is spent.
Here’s a tip: do your best to estimate how long each of your tasks take you so that you can plan your day out and set limits on how long you should be spending on each one.
4. Tackle your hardest tasks toward the beginning of your day
For most people, the beginning of the day is when they’re most productive and creative, so it may serve you well to front-load your days with your hardest tasks first. After you’ve spent the first few hours of your day being productive, make sure to take a break! Taking breaks restores your thinking and creativity, giving your brain that much-needed rest it needs for long-term success.
5. Know your limits
While there are plenty of things you can do to improve your daily productivity, there’s one irrefutable fact in the matter, and that’s that there are only 24 hours in a day and everyone gets the same amount of time to get things done.
Agreeing to too much can make your goals feel unrealistic or unattainable, and could curb your morale and lead to burnout. Going above and beyond can lead you to great places, but it’s not necessarily a sustainable model for success.
6. Maintain a good balance
A big part of maintaining and improving your productivity is taking breaks, whether that’s a 30-minute walk throughout the day or starting and ending your workday with a self care ritual. But breaks go far beyond your work hours.
Finding balance is a much more challenging thing to crack but it’s crucial to your success.
- Take advantage of your vacation days
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Set boundaries at work
- Do your best to log off after business hours
- Stop email notifications when you’re off the clock
- Make time for family and friends
Figuring out how to be productive requires a bit of trial and error. Everyone works differently — some people are more productive in the mornings while others tend to have a stroke of genius after midnight. Find what works best for you and build your routine around that. This guide is a great resource to help you maintain your health and wellbeing and ensure you thrive during these uncertain times.