A productive day starts with going to sleep on time the night before. You can’t be at your best if you’re tired. If you want to be really really productive, get even extra sleep.
Nothing kills your productivity like getting a late start. Get up, get going, and get started on time. As a general practice, if you can be disciplined enough to start your day an hour or two before everyone else, then you will get more accomplished. Starting before others gives you the luxury to not even open emails, social media, or other distractions during your first hour or two. You’re up and making progress before others have even started so you don’t have the pressure to respond to other things. It will be your most productive stretch of the day and nothing creates momentum like completing an important task before 8am.
Be Intentional With Your Time
Whether you have thirty minutes or eight hours, plan your time. Outline what you need to accomplish, prioritize the list, and work from most important to least important. If you don’t, you’ll waste time on things that don’t matter and never get around to the most important stuff.
While you can get more accomplished in a single day by working extra hours, I’ve found that working long hours decreases productivity over the long run. Just like starting on time is best, stopping on time is best too. You need to change your mindset from “working more hours to get things done” to “getting more done in your work hours.” Overwork wears you down and makes all your time less productive. Intentional working time gives energy to your efforts, affords rest, and keeps you at your best today, tomorrow and for the long haul.
Which of these can you start working on today?
Brian Fosse is the co-founder of Lalabu, a start-up that specialized in simple babywearing.