Everyone says time is money and claim to understand the importance of time yet many of us struggle with actually understanding how to manage our time! Here are 9 steps that helped me really own my day!
Part of successfully waking up early, is knowing why you want to wake up. I wake up every morning knowing I want to have a productive day and start my work or “grind” before most people. The main problem for me when trying to get out of bed is that as soon as I woke up, I grab my phone and start browsing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – it’s crazy how stuck we can get scrolling through pictures on social media. I use to literally wake up at 9AM and before I knew it, it was 12 o’clock. To prevent this, I now charge my phone on the other side of my room instead of my bedside, where it is at arms reach. Now with the help of my (Wifi Sonos ) music alarm, I wake up around 6-8am, get out of my bed, I stretch, open my blinds to brighten up my room. I then soak in the sunlight, scan my phone only for urgent messages (not scrolling images on social media) turn on my morning music playlist and then hop in the shower. I get out of the shower feeling good! Clean! Re-energized and alive!
A key ingredient to a productive day is making sure all of your surroundings are clean and organized. After I get out of the shower I quickly clean and organize everything around me. My bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, closets, living room, office, car etc. Cleaning for me is self therapeutic and It makes me feel good to see no clutter or smell bad odors. Cleanliness allows us to think clearly.
Our bodies are our machines that help us get sh-t done. If we don’t eat right then our bodies will prevent us from having a productive day. To me, breakfast is the most important meal so after I take my shower, clean my surroundings, I hop in the kitchen and whip myself up a nice, quick and simple breakfast. Scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, diced potatoes and a cup of orange juice. Getting all of my nutrients, vitamins and minerals that allow me to have improved concentration, strength and endurance. All needed for me to grind smart each day. This is also the time I check and respond to my text messages, emails while I eat. Here’s some quick breakfast meals that have me looking like a 5 star chef.
Every action requires a plan, a checklist and calendar. Things get done or not get done because we put certain things in front of others. So after I make myself breakfast in the morning, I have made it a habit to pull out my task organizer app (Trello.com) and update my to-do list, listing everything I need to accomplish for the day. After I make my list I then organize my tasks in order of importance–not easiest. I then assign each task with estimated times that I should complete them. Seeing my task written down instead of it just being in my head definitely helps me visualize my workflow and have my priorities in check.
After having our tasks for the day, the only things that stop us from getting it done are distractions! Distractions are part of any environment. Training ourselves to block out the non-essentials is the game changer that sets apart the thinkers and the achievers. Now, the first step is to determine the source of the distractions. Ask yourself, are your distractions internal or external problems? Cell calls? People around? Texts messages? Social media notifications? Too much or lack of space? Colors of walls? Temperatures of the rooms or even the type of chair that we sit in? For me, after I plan my day I either get to work in my home office or out at a cafe depending on the day. I make sure I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, that I sign out of social networks, look busy to prevent talkative people from disturbing me, respond to emails and texts at scheduled times and stay focused by always visualizing my success.
I have started my day early, made sure my surroundings were clean, ate a nice breakfast, planned and prioritized my day and eliminated all the things that cause me lose my focus. Now its time to grind and execute my plan for the day. Sticking to my word and completing the tasks I set forth for myself. Doing anything else will be a failure! It also helps to not think of the totality of your to-do lists and not allowing unimportant details to drag you down.
The only way to productively work is to take breaks in between the grind. Letting our mind and body take a quick break from doing the same work. Every 90 minutes my iphone alarm reminds me to take a 15 minute break from work. During my break I like to eat, take a walk outside, exercise, take a nap, reply to texts and check my social networks. When I get back from my break I always notice that my concentration, my memory and my creativity gets better. My breaks also keep me from getting bored doing the same tasks for too long. Ultimately, taking a break helps me take a step back to take 3 steps forward.
No matter what you’re doing, if you don’t have a way of tracking your progress, how will you know what works and doesn’t work? How will you know what got done and what didn’t? How will you be able to appreciate how far you’ve come or how will you even know when you’ve achieved something? Creating my to-do list and checking tasks off as I go is fulfilling. It feels good to see all the things that were accomplished throughout the day. I also track the tasks I didn’t complete so I can focus on completing it the next day.
When grinding its not about grinding all day and all night. We all need time to reboot and grind more after we are well rested. I used to be the one screaming “team no sleep” every day not realizing how unproductive I was being. Now I make it a priority to get my quality sleep so im refreshed for the next day.
They’re all common sense but, the problem is that it’s not common practice. It’s now time to use the best resources and methods that help you practice these ingredients every day until it becomes second nature.
Thanks for reading. Also if you can please send me a quick email letting me know what you thought about this quick guide. All feedback definitely motivates me to continue to create and share more free content…or if you have any questions, please ask me those, too.