5 Hacks to Help You Have the Most Productive Day Ever
I secretly love being unproductive, genuinely and utterly free from responsibility and productivity. Our society has become somewhat competitive, trying to be more productive than the next guy.
Sometimes that competitive edge comes at the expense of our health and sanity. Yes, we need to get things done, but we also need to take care of ourselves and enjoy life.
I’m all about working smarter, not harder.
So, I put together this list of life hacks to help us working moms have a super productive day. If we do it right, we’ll also have plenty of time for self-care and relaxation. And, we’ll feel completely free to be unproductive on our lazy days.
This post probably contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
1. Plan your schedule the night before.
If you want to be productive tomorrow, you have to plan ahead. Start a new evening routine, even if only for a few minutes.
Write down your goals and plans for the following day. I do this every night, and I have for years. Writing my daily schedule down in an old-fashioned notebook gives me a visual idea of what needs to be done the following day. It also helps me to find a reasonable balance for my business and my family.
I have a big desk calendar like this one. Updating it weekly with my important clients, appointments, deadlines, and dinner dates helps me stay focused and productive all week long.
2. Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
I know this is difficult to hear, because we like to sleep later on our days off. And sometimes, you just need the extra sleep. However, most of the time, you need to wake up at the same time every day so that your body knows it’s time to get up and get busy. If you confuse your body by waking up at random times all week long, then it is harder to wake up and get moving on those days that you absolutely have to get things done.
If you hate this idea, I completely understand. And, if you don’t want to do it, I understand that too. There are probably successful people out there who have totally random sleep schedules. But as far as I’m concerned, waking up at the same time each day is the most productive way to start the day. If you can’t manage this, then try to at least manage getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night and avoid sleeping into the afternoon…because that just isn’t productive. Remember, we want to have productive days, but that starts with taking care of ourselves and getting enough sleep.
I love this clock that projects the time onto the ceiling! If you like to know the time without reaching for your phone, a projecting clock is awesome.
3. Make sure you plan something productive every single hour of your day, and write it down on your schedule.
This was my number one reason for success in college. I got my degree taking fast-track classes, while working full-time, helping care for my grandma, and going to the gym seven days a week. That was too much productivity in my opinion, but I managed, and I took excellent care of myself in the process.
I scheduled my days so rigorously and I had very specific goals that I wanted to accomplish every hour of the day. This isn’t always easy to do, and you need to have some flexibility when you have a family, but you will be much more productive if you have an hourly schedule.
Let’s imagine that your schedule just says “go to work, walk the dogs, make dinner.”
That’s a very vague outline of what your day is going to be like, and you’re probably going to waste a lot of time on social media or watching TV. Try an hourly chart instead, and check things off the list as you complete them. My schedule is always set from 7 am to 7 pm. That is 12 hours of the day that are scheduled for specific tasks. After 7 pm, my family is free to do whatever we want with our evening, as long as we got all of our important tasks done.
4. Take short breaks to recharge.
When we’re tired, it is hard to be productive. When we are staring at a screen all day, it is hard to be productive. We all need to take a few minutes to drink some water, stretch our legs, or kick up our feet and recharge.
Schedule these breaks into your day, and be sure to set a timer so that you don’t end up wasting two hours browsing through Facebook.
Take 10 minutes to relax, have a snack, browse your social updates, or whatever else. When that 10 minutes is up, get back to business until all of your daily tasks and responsibilities are handled. It takes practice, but once you get used to it, you will see how beneficial it is.
I have managed to build a small business and an online community of bloggers using this exact system, so it definitely works.
5. Eat clean and drink tons of water.
You can’t function at 100% if you’re not fueling your body properly. Junk food, caffeine, sugar, and energy drinks are going to make you crash. I love my coffee, but I try to keep it at one small coffee each morning, and drink two cups of water for every one cup of coffee that I drink. That is my rule, and my days are pretty darn productive, so I think it’s a fair compromise.
Keep healthy snacks and water with you at all times, and don’t let too much time pass before you eat a meal. You need that fuel to keep you moving throughout the day, so use the premium stuff, and use it every few hours.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, I love my unproductive days. Those days are such a nice change of pace. But, if you need to get things done, these are definitely the top tips that you want to put into practice.
I hope they are useful to you! They are things that I personally do every day and I truly believe that I owe any amount of success and productivity that I have to them.
So, tell me. What are your tips and tricks for the most productive day ever? Share in the comments below!
And if you want to know more about the business I have built as a full-time blogger, you can join my blogging group here.