We all want to have a more meaningful day. Don’t we? But, this will require little changes and tweaks to your daily routine.
In this post, I share with you eleven things to consider, and which will help you have time to do more of what you love. You will be able to do less for more in your life.
As a result, you will be able to do less for more in your life.
Watch the video below or continue reading:
Start your day with a morning ritual
Starting your day will determine how your day will go and the way it will end. Most productive people have different ways they use to begin their day. But, they employ what’s known to be a morning ritual. It consists of the following:
- Meditate through a regular practice of prayer, bible reading, and journaling.
- Read something that will motivate you.
- Listen to a podcast that will inspire you and set you for success during your day.
- Some go to the gym for exercise while others do it from their home. I do it from my home.
Plan your day
In the morning, after or as a part of your morning ritual, you can also block out the time you will need to accomplish your tasks for the day.
As you look at your tasks, make sure to prioritize them based according to the level of importance in your life.
As a leader, answer two of the questions that can help you plan your day while making it more productive:
- How will I influence others?
- How will I learn from others?
For you to get everything (or close to everything) done, each task needs a name and time when you want to accomplish it. Also, make sure that every task, according to its priority, has a day and time when you want it completed.
For example, you can assign 30 minutes to check your emails every day. Depending on the kind of work you do. You could do check emails first thing in the morning once in the office for 15 minutes. Then, do the same soon after lunch. I’ll talk more about it later.
The purpose of this post is to help you get tasks done so that you have more time to do what matters to you. Also, you have a sense of accomplishment at the end of every day.
Peter Bregman, author of Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones that Really Work, refers to this to-do-list as a blueprint.
In his blog, he writes: “The reason we always have unfinished items on our to-do lists is that those lists are the wrong tool to drive our accomplishments.” He also adds that calendars help you prioritize.
So, have everything on your calendar. You can do it the night before, or before leaving your office. You can also do it early in the morning, which is what I do.
You need a distraction-free environment for planning
Turn off your emails.
Turn off all other notifications on your devices.
Find a place and time to plan your day. Most productive people do it early in the morning. The reason is that, if you are a parent, your kids may probably still be in bed. Also, your phone cannot ring at that time because other people are either asleep or getting ready for their day too.
Also, your phone cannot ring at that time because other people are either asleep or getting ready for their day too.
The reality of life is that only a healthy person can help others.
Your health does not have to do only with your physical body. It also deals with your mind, spirit, and soul.
Most productive people have a health coach who helps them. They exercise on a regular basis. But, perhaps you cannot afford all of that. Guess what?
I have personally used over time quite a few apps that help me exercise from my home. Sworkit is what I’ve used in the past. It is a paid application you can download on your devices. Another one I’ve also used is Runtastic.
Currently, I use Fitstar. It comes with Fitbit. I love it because it is on my watch. You get 7 minutes of exercise, which I do in the morning and evening. In case you don’t have a Fitbit watch, get fitstar on your computer or tablet. It’s a good investment for your health!
Next, get enough sleep. Younger adults need about 7 to 9 hours (18-24 years of age), and adults (25 years of age and older) 7 to 8 hours.
Personally, and on the average, my target is about 7hrs and 7:30 hrs of sleep.
According to a Stanford research on the correlation between multitasking and performance. Multitasking, based on the research, means putting your brain in trouble.
The results of the research pointed out that multitasking doesn’t help filter out irrelevant information or organize the person’s memory.
The research also found out that individuals who multitask are likely to underperform those who don’t. The reason is that you may keep thinking about the task you’re not doing.
The reason is that you may keep thinking about the task you’re not doing.
Get done with one task before moving to the next. Trying to do it all will make you end up with not much done at the end of the day. You will also end up with unfinished tasks.
Your To-do-list will have unchecked tasks. And that will kill your sense of accomplishment, which will eventually affect your productivity.
Resist the tyranny of the urgent
Your day to be meaningful will be determined by accomplishing what matters most.
But, in the process, there will always be some little things that may call your attention. You’ve got to decide when one thing has to be done at any cost.
You’ve got to decide when one thing has to be done at any cost.
Productive people can differentiate what’s most important now to what can wait for another time.
Get ready for tomorrow before leaving your workplace
Some people, instead of getting ready for tomorrow at the workplace, do it in the evening before bed. It applies to self-employed or freelancers.
One other thing is that at the end of the day, review what you accomplished and what you did not. That way, when you wake up in the morning, you have a sense of direction for the day.
Learn to say NO
For you to know when and how to say no, you’ve got to be clear about your priorities. As a person, I empower people to say no even to some of my requests. I don’t judge people in life who say no to what I ask them to do. I trust they do it based on their priorities.
As a leader, I empower people to say no even to some of my requests. I don’t judge people in life who say no to what I ask them to do. I trust they do it based on their priorities.
My priorities are based on the four following elements: self, family, work, church, community.
If something that does not come in that order, I will either not do it or put it on my to-do-list for a later date.
Say no to things that will not help you grow spiritually, and which will not increase your influence, as a person. Say no to things that may affect your physical health and your key relationships.
Check emails at a chosen time
Here’s one thing lots of people struggle with: “when should I read and respond to emails?”
My daily practice is that I check my emails in the morning before going to the office or leaving home. Here’s a tool I have used for quite some time now regarding my emails: Sanebox.
But, there are a lot other email apps you could explore such as Dispatch, Spark, and more. These email tools can help you eliminate emails you don’t have to see every day. The other two times I check my emails are during lunch and later in the evening.
Consider these four actions when checking your emails.
- According to the level of priority, reply immediately to emails if the action will take less than a minute to do it.
- Emails that will require more than a minute to respond, add them to Action items.
- Relay emails to appropriate people.
- Archive or Delete.
Aim at spending not more than 15 minutes when you check your emails.
Be on Social Media at a designated time
According to Pew Research, the number of people using social media has been increasing. For example, in 2005, there were only 2% of adults (65+ years of age or older) were on social media. But, in 2015, their number went to 35% and continued to grow.
Here’s the problem with social media. The New York Times reported that on the average a person spends about 50 minutes on Facebook. And the number of individuals spending on social media keeps going up.
Here’s what you’ve got to do. Turn off all notifications on your devices. Then, set some time to check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so forth.
On my devices, and as an example, I have Facebook Messenger notification on. The reason is that I use it to communicate with my family, church leaders and other significant people in my life.
Make Technology work for you
Technology is a good thing, but it should never replace the human heart and brain. It does not have to be your master. What I mean is technology should always work for you because you are its master.
That’s why you should decide when to use it and when not to.
Bringing all together
Productivity is a skill we all have to continue learning. The primary benefit of being productive is that you and I find time to care for people who matter the most in our lives. In the end, you will grow spiritually and increase your influence, as a person.
Click below to listen to my Podcast, which was based on this blog post.