Does this sound familiar?
It’s 7.00 pm. You alarm rings. Ugh. You immediately hit the snooze button. Go back to sleep. Wake up again. Repeat a few times.
After 15 minutes, you somehow manage to drag yourself out of bed and grab your phone. You haven’t even had your coffee yet and are already going through your emails and checking out your FB and Instagram feeds to keep up with what your friends have been doing since the night before.
Half an hour goes by and you still have to shower, get dressed and have breakfast. Now, you’re in full panic mode, thinking “I’m SO late. I have a gazillion things to do and I know there’s no way I can get it all done in time!”
Before you know it, lunch time is here and you still haven’t crossed one single item off your to-do list.
Those 20 to 30 minutes in the morning, right after you wake up, are crucial to your success. If you waste them on extra sleep and FB, you’re sabotaging your day before it has even began.
I know because I did it so many times.
It’s only when I made a few tweaks to my morning routine that things changed and my productivity skyrocketed. Here are my secrets to set yourself up for a productive day:
1. Plan The Night Before
A productive day doesn't happen. It's planned. The night before.
- Get the little things out of the way: You know those little tasks that keep nagging at you all day until you get them done? Things like empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry, and clean up your desk. Do them before you go to bed. You’ll sleep better.
- Write your to-do list: Open your fave to-do list app (or, if you’re oldfashioned like me, just grab pen and paper) and jot down everything you have to do the next day. Then, circle the three most important tasks you absolutely need to get done. You’ll wake in the morning knowing exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goals.
- Get a head start: Set out your gym clothes, load up your computer with only the programmes you need in the morning and prepare your briefcase. In the morning, you’ll have no excuses. You can just grab them and start working out… or just working.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A productive day doesn’t just happen. You plan it. The night before.” quote=”A productive day doesn’t just happen. You plan it. The night before.”]
2. Start The Day With The Right Morning Rituals
If scrolling through your Facebook feed first thing in the morning can totally derail your day, a bit of movement, mindfulness and a healthy meal can get it on the right track straight away:
- Work out: You set out your work out gear the night before, RIGHT? Put it on and move your body. I like to exercise at home with Leslie Sansone DVDs, but you can hit the gym, go for a walk, dance… whatever works for you. It gives you energy, boosts your mood and improves your memory, too!
- Meditate: Meditation clears up your mind, silences thoughts and melts away your stress. Even just 10 minutes a day can help you start your day with a clear head, focus on the tasks ahead and help you handle all the curveballs life throws at you without losing your mind.
- Have a healthy breakfast: I used to start the day with a traditional Italian breakfast: a cup of tea and a few biscuits. But, an hour later, my stomach would start grunting. I’d have to interrupt my work and go get something to eat. Now, I munch on Greek yogurt sprinkled with blueberries and nuts (I’ve kept the tea). It gives me enough fuel to work uninterrupted for hours.
3. Swallow The Frogs First
Remember that to-do list you wrote the night before? I asked you to circle the three most important tasks you absolutely need to get done.
Those are your frogs.
They’re the annoying, daunting tasks that move the needle forward and get you one step closer to your dreams.
Tackle them first thing in the morning and, no matter if your day gets hijacked, you can still call it very productive.
The key to a productive day is all in the set up. Plan ahead and tackle the frogs first and you’ll never waste another day again.
Over to you now. How do you set yourself up for a productive day?