It’s a new year and we have 362 more wonderful days of 2013 left to enjoy. It’s time to lose weight, read more, spend time with family, stop using curse words, and give back to the community. Well, I don’t have much advice for any of those things, but I can make a few recommendations based on my own adventures in improving my work productivity.
I’m no expert, but these 5 simple habits have helped me to feel better about starting my day:
Get Adequate Rest
The easiest way to start your day out productively is to plan ahead the night before. Many experts recommend 8 hours a night, which seems like a hefty surplus to me. Regardless of the amount you get, you’ll need enough to wake up energized and stay focused all day long. How much sleep do you need to wake up feeling great?
Take Time To Energize
Some people spend hours each day exercising. I’m not one of those people. As a matter of fact, I don’t like exercising at all. I do, however, love being energized when I start my day. I spend the first part of each day stretching, doing a light workout, and reflecting (sometimes this involves watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents). Sounds cheesy, I know. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but I definitely recommend giving it a whirl. Maybe a walk around the block is more your thing, to each their own.
Plan Your Entire Day
This seems simple enough, but I’ll bet most people don’t plan their day task-by-task. Try spending the last 15 or first 15 minutes of each day writing out a precise to-do list. List them in order of importance and mark them off as you go. My guess is you’ll find you get things done quicker–and you may even have some extra time for a mid-afternoon snack like this one!
Add Structure To Your Distractions
You’ll never eliminate all of your distractions, but you can definitely add structure to them. If TV is your main distraction, then avoid working near one. If co-workers are your problem you may need to shut your door from time to time, they’ll get over it. If social media sites like Facebook and twitter are what’s slowing you down it’s probably time to log out. Instead of constantly looking back and forth between your profiles, set up scheduled times to check your sites so you aren’t wasting any time.
Keep a Tidy Workstation
Nobody likes living in a mess. Some can tolerate it better than others, but nobody likes it. Clutter will slow you down in many ways, but luckily it’s easy to avoid. At the end of each day, spend 15 minutes or so organizing files, tossing out trash, and rinsing out your coffee mugs. The next morning you’ll be delighted to see the treat you left yourself the night before.
What’s a daily habit you recommend for staying productive at work (or home)?