Don’t forget to think about what you drink too. Make sure you drink plenty of water, not just for good health but for better alertness. Staying well-hydrated helps nutrients that provide energy move through the body. It also helps to keep your blood flowing smoothly so your heart pumps more easily.
If you’re tempted to drink alcohol before bed to get a better night’s sleep, note that it’s a bad idea. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep more quickly. However, it makes sleep much less restful. This is because alcohol impacts on how you metabolize food. It also depresses energy levels. Once the alcohol has worn off during the night, you’ll be more likely to wake up. Since staying productive is linked to getting quality sleep, it’s clear that avoiding alcohol before bed is a good idea.
Establishing Routines to Keep Your Day on Track
Establishing healthy routines keep your day on track and help you to stay productive. Creating a morning routine to wake you up and an evening routine that helps you to unwind is important. With a clear pattern to the day, you’ll know what’s coming next. This saves you the time involved in thinking about what to do. It also helps you to feel that you’re accomplishing more in your available time.
Productive people are aware of what they must do before the time comes to do it. Remember that failure to plan is planning to fail. Make planning for the day ahead part of your evening routine. This will ensure you have a clear purpose and mission when you get up in the morning.
Set your alarm early. Most people perform at their best in the first couple of hours after getting up (assuming they’ve had good- quality sleep). If you usually crawl out of bed half an hour before work begins, change this habit. Get up at least two hours before you go to work. You can use this super-productive time to get more done.
Develop a clear evening routine too that promotes restful sleep. Switch off the laptop and phone a couple of hours before bed.
Take a warm bath and drink a soothing milky drink. Try reading a book to relax you before you finally drift off. As we’ve already pointed out, getting sufficient good-quality sleep is imperative for productivity.
Plan at least ten minutes in your day when you do absolutely nothing. Whether you choose to meditate as we mentioned earlier or simply relax, it’ll help clear your mind. With just a short space of time in which to wind down and do nothing, you’ll improve your overall focus.
Add working out into your daily routine. When your body is healthy, your mind is healthy. Do you think you lack sufficient time in your day to exercise? Then remember you’ll perform ten times better when your body and mind benefit from the boost in its energy levels.
Planning a nap into your day can also work wonders. Napping for between 20 and 60 minutes daily allows your body and brain to rest. During this time, you’ll be able to organize information in your brain. You’ll also feel energized and ready to work harder when you wake up.
Each day, plan time in your evening schedule to reflect on your day. Rewind the happenings in your mind and think about everything that went well as well as everything that went wrong. You’ll gain helpful insights and you’ll be better able to devise plans for a better tomorrow.
Add all these elements into your daily plan and you’ll be much more productive.
Identify Your Productive Times
Everyone has specific times of the day when they’re most productive. Perhaps for you, it’ll be early in the morning, or late in the evening. The key is to identify those times. When you’ve done so, you can schedule your toughest tasks for those hours.
There are, naturally, moments in every day when you’re more focused, energetic and productive. When you need to focus on a specific task, it makes sense to schedule it for one of those moments. This will ensure you apply your best efforts to the task at hand.
Most people have their productive times in the morning. The first two hours after waking are often the best. However, this isn’t true for everyone. You need to be in tune with your body rhythms to identify your peak hours.
To do this, you need to pay attention not to the clock but to your own body. If you force yourself to do your hardest work when you lack energy and focus, you’ll just burn out. Therefore, you need to focus on the way you feel. Be aware of when your energy level is dipping. Evidence shows that the human mind craves a break after 90 minutes of working intensely. Be aware of the signals that your body is sending you. Do you feel sleepy, fidgety? Hungry? Those could be signs you need a short break.
When you’re in tune with your productivity curve, you can plan your hardest tasks into your most productive window. Then, what do you do with the remainder of your day?
Getting the toughest task done every day makes you feel accomplished. However, during the remainder of your time, you should be working on progressing urgent tasks. You can also catch up on updates, meetings and communications. Just because you aren’t at your most productive doesn’t mean you should get nothing done.
Plan tasks to suit your energy levels at each stage of the day.
- At times of low energy levels, plan phone calls, emails and meetings.
- At times of higher energy, plan urgent work and daily
- At your peak productivity hours, plan to do the most challenging jobs.
- At your lowest energy level, take a break or perform easier task.
Remember that spending more time working doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get more work done. Quality time is more important than the length of time. So, plan your focus to suit your energy levels and you’ll be more productive overall.