Write down daily / weekly or monthly tasks
Writing your tasks every day (in the morning or in the evening the day before) helps you organize your day and eases your brain. You don't constantly think about what you have to do, so you are less distracted, worried, and in the end, more productive.
But don't overdo it, start with 3 to 5 tasks. If you write 10 tasks, you will probably never be able to do them, and you will feel bad about not achieving your goal.
You can extend this to weekly and monthly tasking if you desire.
Do the hardest task first
We all have this dreaded task we don't want to do, that we postpone each and every day. And this task stays on your mind and you start feeling guilty for not taking care of it.
The simplest solution to that problem is : doing it first thing in the morning, and finally lifting off the weight of guilt off your shoulders. You will feel relieved and this boost of satisfaction will be a true driving force for the rest of the day.
DRINK WATER !
Drinking water right after waking up, this will really get you started. Keep a water bottle or a glass of water by your bed/on your nightstand, and always keep water close to you so you can easily see it and you will be reminded to drink throughout the day. Some people set an alarm every hour to remind themselves to drink.
Photo by Mateusz Butkiewicz
Water helps your body and your brain, it clears your skin, helps weight loss, improves memory... so go drink !
Reminder: if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Work in a clean space
If there is one thing that trully has an impact on me is my surrounding. If my desk is a mess, I will not feel as motivated, I will feel more stressed and be less focused. I am not a neat freak at all, my dog sheds a lot, I hate doing the dishes..
A tidy environment for a tidy brain
Because you can't be focused on your tasks non-stop from 9 to 5, it his really important to take breaks. A very famous technique exists called "The Pomodoro Technique" :
- Choose a task.
- Set the timer (pomodoro) for 25 minutes and focus yourself a 100% on the task until the time is up (you can still get up in case of emergency of course)
- Take a 5mn break.
- Every four "pomodoros", take a 20 to 30 minutes break.
With this technique, you can write an X next to the task for each pomodoro you complete. With time, this allows you to estimate the time you spend to finish a task.
Other techniques exist and you can easily find them online. If techniques and methods are too much for you, simply remember to frequently stop what you are doing and take time for yourself.
Turn off distractions
One of the first reason we don't work efficiently is because of our phone. Scrolling through instagram, answering messages...
You can turn off your phone or disable problematic apps if your phone allows it. I disable Facebook, Messenger and Instagram from 9 to 5 everyday to stay focused on my work. I can disable the restriction for a few minutes when I take a pause.
Disable notifications which are not related to work.
Break big tasks into small tasks
Having to deal with one huge problem is much more impressive and difficult than having a multitude of small problems. It's true when you have to develop a knew feature for you job, but it can also be true for your daily life.
I have to write a new article. Well, that is one hell of a task ! If I think about it this way, I will probably procrastinate and never do it. But if I make a list and I tell myself :
- I will search a new subject
- I will work on the subject, either work on a tutorial or do some research.
- Start writing the new article ...
Then I will not feel overwhelmed, I will take time to do each step properly and finish my task without a mental breakdown.
Use your morning to focus on yourself
You can meditate, journal, go for a walk, do some sport in the morning (at home or hit the gym), do some yoga, read, express gratitude towards what you have... There are so many ways to focus on yourself, find what you love and enjoy the moment.
Dressing up in the morning gives a good boost for the rest of the day. I know, being in your comfy pajamas is a way of feeling like you are still in bed, and staying in bed all day is not exactly the definition of Productivity.
Getting dressing is a way to feel more beautiful, more confident, and to be in a better mood overall. You will feel motivated and you will achieve much more tasks.
Dress up like a badass person and you will feel like one.
Photo by Fernando Lavin
Spending some time to pamper yourself in the morning (makeup, hair, skincare, a bit of perfume ...) is a good way to spend time to focus on yourself. (And I am not only talking to women here). Self-care is really import, especially with these trying times, where self-esteem can be very flaky.
Get a solid morning route
With everything said above, and anything you might like, create a solid routine in the morning. The most important thing is to do what you feel comfortable doing. Don't overthink it, don't rush things, don't try to do to much to soon.
Motivation is not one straight line of being productive all day everyday, it is like a wave. Sometimes you will feel highly motivated, and sometimes you only want to stay in bed and watch Netflix, and that's ok. You're human.