You’ve probably read 100 different self-help articles and blogs about how you can be more effective and finish more things you need to get done in a day.
Here’s the problem: we all read these actionable items and few of us actually set about making changes that we know would really help us improve in our day-to-day responsibilities.
We wanted to give you six areas where you can work to improve how you spend your time daily. These are simple items that you can start doing today and we think it will help you get more done and be more efficient in your role at home and at work.
Set a sleep schedule
OK, this one is a little bit tricky if you work odd hours and it varies from week to week. We suggest that you get five to six hours of sleep each night. That means figuring out what time you need to go to bed and what time you ideally want to wake up each day. If you can get your body used to resting or sleeping during the same hours each night then you will notice a difference. You will probably feel better and your body will start telling you when to go to bed and when it is time to wake up without you realizing it is happening. Oprah Winfrey operates on less than six hours of sleep typically. She says if she gets off track for two or three days then she is no good at work. It leads to her not being productive. Therefore, Oprah sticks to a sleep schedule.
Do you intentionally start your day or do you wait to figure it out when you wake up? We suggest getting in the habit of spending a few minutes in the evening or just before bed thinking about what you need to complete or work on the next morning and day. If you can prioritize what needs to happen in the morning, then you will be more likely to start the day off strong.
For some people, it is working out, showering or checking email when you wake up. Whatever you plan is what you should do. If you can accomplish even one tasks early, you are more likely to have a better day.
Trick yourself to do, not procrastinate
Brian Tracy has a great book called, “Eat That Frog.” He talks about working hard to get things done that you don’t want to do so it is over with. Maybe you don’t like to read so you have to make yourself read 15 minutes daily. It could be exercising. Whatever you don’t want to do should be near the top of your “to do” list. All people struggle with procrastination at times. The people who can become very good at “not procrastinating” normally win the day. Maybe you struggle with deadlines or procrastination. Don’t fall victim to changing the deadline or not having a meeting with an employee or boss that needs to happen. Just do it. Get it over with. You will be shocked at how getting that “frog” out of the room will make your day better and free you up to focus on the next item on your list. Make the calls you need to make. Talk to the person you need to before it becomes an issue. Ask yourself this question: What’s the worst thing that will happen if I go ahead and do this? Just get it done and life will be easier.
Key tools and resources
A good carpenter doesn’t leave home without having the right tools to complete the job. Convince yourself that you are a carpenter of whatever your profession or trade is. For many of you this is your cell phone or your tablet. Something as simple as making sure these tools are fully charged when you start your day can save you a headache should something crazy happen and you need that tool to help you complete what you are trying to achieve that day.
If you have the tools you need to be successful then you are far more likely to be successful than not. It sounds simple, but having what you need to help you do your job is vital. A winning football team doesn’t show up on game day without uniforms or helmets! Make sure you are prepared before you even start your day so you are set up to succeed.
Your go-to motivator
We all need encouragement. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Maybe there is a person that gets you excited. Can you call them when you need them? A lot of successful and famous people keep a box of quotes near their desk or have an app with inspirational words on their phone. Maybe as you fix your morning coffee or tea, you spend a moment looking at words that will inspire you to make things happen that day.
Find out what you know will spark you to be the best you can be and use it frequently. Find people you can follow or get to know that are where you want to be in life. Having an accountability partner can be powerful for you as you are chasing your goals and dreams.
Try it and see what kind of results you get. We think this is a simple way to stay excited about what you are doing.
Take 5-10 minutes a day and think
In all the hustle and bustle of life, we understand things can get busy or even chaotic. We all lead busy lives, or at least we spend our days thinking along those lines. Do yourself a favor and add one item to your daily calendar that you absolutely do every single day without question. We would like you to schedule five to 10 minutes each day where you sit and think.
These valuable moments can be spent in your office with the door closed or even outside where you can sit and listen to the world. Don’t talk out loud, but talk to yourself. Think about whatever is on your mind and just breathe. At the end of your allotted time, get back to work.
There are countless ways to improve your productivity and efficiency, but we think those six items can help you improve upon what you are already doing. We encourage you to keep working to be the best person, employee, partner, boss, friend, etc.