How to Have a Tremendously Productive DayJan 30, 2021
No one I have ever met has said, “I hope that I have an unproductive day today.”
And yet I’ve met more than a few people who have no idea how to have a tremendously productive day.
There are several reasons why this is so:
- not knowing how which is something this article will help with
- lack of motivation
- not feeling well mentally or physically
Not only is it possible to have a productive day every day but it’s simple to do once you know how.
The word that starts it all
To have a productive day, you need to begin with the word INTENTIONALITY.
You can’t hope or just “see what happens”.
You have to want it and then make it happen.
Now, before I go on, I will address the elephant in the room. Living your life would be a whole lot easier if you didn’t have to deal with…life. Let’s be honest: your fellow human beings can make having a productive day challenging, some more than others.
But you need to be proactive and choose to have a productive day. And here’s how…
Start the night before
Let’s wind the clock back a few hours before you go to bed.
This is where your day actually begins.
Here are some things you should consider doing, or not doing, in order to set yourself up for a good night of sleep.
- Turn screens off 60 to 90 minutes prior to your head hitting the pillow. This includes the obvious: cell phone, laptop, and tablet, but don’t forget about the biggest screen in your house: the television.
- Avoid having any heated discussions. These cause your heart rate to increase, when you want the exact opposite.
- Avoid exercising in the two hours prior to going to sleep. There are varying opinions on this, but for me, exercising wakes me up…not what I want to be doing before bed.
- Cut your caffeine off by 2:00 pm, or eliminate it altogether. If you don’t think caffeine affects your sleep, go read Dr. Matthew Walker’s phenomenal book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (affiliate link). It’ll blow your mind. I personally only drink water every day, all day.
- Read a print book or a paper magazine. My body knows that once the screens are off, I’ve brushed my teeth, and I’m reading my book, it’s time to slow down and get ready for sleep. You can also read a Kindle book, but not the Kindle app on your phone or tablet because of the blue light.
- Journal. Before you go to bed, write down all the thoughts that are banging around inside your head. When you do this, your brain can let it go. Your brain will attempt to hold on to things you need to remember the best it can…until you put your thoughts someplace. When you do, your brain lets it go. Also, write things that you are thankful for or that went well for you that day.
Then it’s off to dreamland
The second step to having a tremendously productive day is sleeping well.
- Your body loves consistency. If you could ask it, it would tell you it would like to go to bed at the same time every night and get up the same time every morning. Yes, seven days a week, and get 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
- Make your room on the cool side and dark. I’ve read that the optimum temperature to sleep in is between 60°F and 67°F (15°C to 20°C).
- Have no electronics in your room. Or, if you charge your phone during the night like I do, have it on mute and on Do Not Disturb (DND). If you have a television in your room, remove it. I’ll admit that I’m self-disciplined enough not to use my devices in the bedroom. If you can’t do this, definitely charge them elsewhere in your home.
When you wake up the following morning, either naturally or with the aid of an alarm clock…start your day on your terms. Remember the word I started this article with: intentionality.
- Do not grab your phone. If you charged it in another area of your home, don’t go grab it. The only exception here is if you need to check the weather. I’ve been running every day since August 29, 2017, and since December 25, 2020, I’ve been waking up at 5:00 am and running outside by 5:15 am. I need to know if it’s going to pour while I’m running.
- Avoid checking social media, messages, email, and the news for the first 90 minutes. Why would you want to enter the world of drama and other people’s problems as soon as you wake up? Whatever it is, it can wait. And as far as the news goes, delete these apps off of your phone and reduce your consumption of news by 99%.
- Move! I learned this from bestselling author Robin Sharma. I used to read as part of my morning routine and then run whenever the weather was most favorable. So, when I read to move from Mr. Sharma, I resisted. But then I tried it and can tell you it works. Now when I read, I have much more clarity. Get that heart rate up…sweat. It’s amazingly effective.
- Read something inspirational and/or educational. Just like your bedtime routine, I highly encourage you to read from a print or Kindle book. Why? No notifications. Trust me, this works.
- Journal. What are your intentions for the day? How do you want to show up? What came to your mind as you slept? Write out your goals. Robin Sharma calls this your Pre-Performance Blueprint for the day.
- Learn a new language. Yes, now you have to pick up your phone. But not to check in with the world. I’m currently learning French on Duolingo. Not only is it good for my brain, but it’s also fun!
What about you?
Which of these practices do you do regularly?
Which one will you start doing? Don’t add more than one at a time, or it could cause you overwhelm which, in turn, could cause you to quit.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading it.
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