Productivity and effectiveness is a big deal for a lot of people in these times especially with how the status quo for a lot of things have been upturned in very recent times. We now live in an era of “the new normal” and the need for timely strategies to increase productivity and effectiveness in our lives, businesses and relationships is on the increase.
It is a well known saying that the first determines the rest and I agree with this. If this is the case then it means that how the morning goes will to a very large extent determine how well the rest of the will plan out. If there is one thing that highly successful people have in common, it’s a set of positive morning habits. Some of these habits are well known because they have shared them and we have put some of them together for you.
Here are 7 simple yet effective habits for a highly productive and effective day.
1. Waking up early.
This may sound redundant, but yes – waking up early has always been (and will always be) a great habit to increase your performance. It’s very tempting to hit snooze when the alarm rings in the morning but that only delays the inevitable, you getting up and it robs you of the advantage of a headstart to your day. Those times you resisted the temptation didn’t you feel good and lively knowing you’ve spent good time doing something vital for yourself before everyone else in the world wakes up. Early mornings are simply the best times to focus on activities that increase productivity because of the quite around you. Also, Imagine not having to always hurry off to work and dealing less with distractions outside and within you that comes with being unsettled and being in a rush because you chose to be an early riser.
To get used to waking up early, establish the routine of going to bed early at night each day so you get quality sleep. Having an alarm set for the morning will greatly help in waking up early. If you have formed the habit of sleeping through your alarm ringing then, when you set your alarm make sure it’s at the highest most annoying volume and set it down far away from your bed. This is so that you can’t just turn over or stretch to snooze it or put if off. It takes a lot of self-discipline and willpower to be an early riser. You’ll feel grumpy at first, but it’ll get easier over time.
2. Eating a healthy breakfast.
Most people make the mistake of skipping a healthy breakfast. Your first meal in the morning sets the tone for the day. When you sleep at night your body doesn’t not stop working. The systems and organs of the body keep working through the night and these working require energy. This is why breakfast before dashing out for the day is important. You body needs to be replenished with nutrients to keep you functional cognitively and physically. Some people say they function better without breakfast but most people cannot. If you notice hat whenever you skip breakfast, you feel hunger pangs at work, headache, and easily lose focus skipping breakfast will inhibit your capacity to be productive and effective during the course of your day.
Not missing out on breakfast isn’t the only thing that matters, what you eat is also very important. Make sure that you fill yourself up with high-protein and high-fiber foods to keep you full for longer at work and improve your focus at the same time.
3. Creating a to-do list
Taking time to sit down and make a list of your activities for the day allows you to have a greater sense of direction, orderliness and accountability. The simple act of writing your goals for the day down helps you to be conscious of them and to also set up strategies to accomplishing them. Its also helps you to know beforehand hand the tasks you can or should handle yourself and those that you should delegate or outsource to others.
With that, you should identify responsibilities you could delegate to someone. If you own a business, you can outsource projects that are repetitive and take up too much of your time. It’s important that you focus more on tasks that have a greater impact on your organization. Keep your to-do list as simple and as specific as possible.
There are articles all over the internet that discuss the tremendous effects of daily meditation on a person’s productivity and success. Meditation is simply the act of focusing on a specific subject matter for a period of time. Meditate to gain clarity, meditate to attain inner peace. Anyone can meditate. At first it would seem like the more you try to attain quietness in your mind, the more thoughts barrage your mind. It’s normal. With time you’ll be able to effectively tune every other thing except what you want to think on out. For a start take about five minutes after waking up to sit down comfortably on your bed or chair. Close your eyes as you focus your attention on positive, loving thoughts. You can even listen to guided meditation sessions which you can download online to help you get started.
Meditate on only positive concepts and thoughts. It could be personal or work related and you’ll be sure to get results. Meditation can actually boost your performance in life and help you accomplish more by tuning out all kinds of distractions of your daily life – personal or work-related
The importance of exercise to kickstart your day cannot be over emphasized. Beyond using exercise as a vehicle for loosing weight, exercise also pushes the organs of the body into functioning optimally. If most of your day is characterized by sitting behind a table and doing little physical activities then exersing in the morning should not be skipped. A morning exercise enhances your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even when you’re sitting at your office desk for hours. If you have a goal to loose weight be rest assures that regular exercise will have a huge role to play in crushing that goal.
If you’re just starting, exercise in the morning can prove to be difficult but it will be worth your while eventually. You don’t have to engage in a full blown workout session. A fifteen to thirty minutes jog or a ten minutes exercise right beside your bed should be enough to get your blood pumping and ready for the day.
6. Tiding up your desk.
If you work from home, you might neglect keeping your work space clutter-free. After all, there’s no boss to check up on you and you’re at home and can do it much later right? A clean desk isn’t just for showing off, it’s for you to experience the psychological benefits of a chaos-free space which again, impacts your day’s performance. Admit it, there’s nothing more irritating than the sight of stray adhesive notes, crumpled pieces of paper, and unfiled folders. A chaotic work desk can make it difficult for you to locate important items that you need and it will cost you time which cannot be regained trying to find it.
Before you start your day’s work, make it a habit to de-clutter your area. Have a bin nearby so that you can instantly get rid of trash while you work. Instead of keeping paper, why not store digital files? If possible, use drawers to help you organize your supplies. Lastly, label your folders or items for easy access.
7. Connecting with your loved ones.
Last but not the least, if you can, don’t miss spending time (even a few minutes) conversing with the people who are dear to you. They could be your kids, spouse, relatives or best buddis. Connecting with special people in your life gives you happy feelings. Instead of preoccupying yourself with work-related emails first thing in the morning when you wake up, send a morning greeting to a loved one, have breakfast with your family and talk about the beautiful things that could transpire during the day.
The positive energy you’ll create by being and communicating with special people makes you more capable of tackling the day’s challenges and working harder. This boost in productivity brings you closer to success.
Practice these 7 steps and be sure to see a boost in your productivity. If you’re already doing any of them you can consolidate and d more.