How to Create a Productive Day

There are many mornings where I have created a productivity schedule in my head before climbing out of bed. And then, before you know it, it is 11:00 am and I am still answering emails or doing other chores completely unrelated to what I intended to get done. If you have this problem also. I hope you will find this infographic and its 5 tips helpful.

Start your day with meditation or a simple exercise

I must say that I have tried this for both meditation and exercise, and usually, I am too anxious to begin my day to focus in this way. What I have been successful at is sitting in a quiet area of the house and reading a few pages of a book. The trick to this is to get up before the rest of the household. Also, I choose a book that is related to writing and one that is really speaking to a current project that I’m working on. My current morning reading is I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory, by Patrica Hampl.

Turn off all distractions

I have found that if I go right to my laptop with my morning tea, I am doomed for the rest of the day. Yes, I tell myself that I will just check my email and then I will get up and go read or write in my “unplugged” area, but this never works. I have to go straight to my table and chair that is a gadget-free zone. When I incorporate this morning routine, my productivity increases exponentially.

Create a checklist of all you want to accomplish

This is an easy one for me – I am the checklist queen. I do this every day and feel good when I cross things off the list. I may not get them all done, but those that I don’t, I add to the next day.

Set milestones

This might be the hardest one to stick to. I have some success with setting milestones, or blocks of time to complete a task. But, I have many distractions from family members and others (husband, mother, mother-in-law, ranch hand, caregivers, deliveries, animals…), so this is something that I will try to incorporate more. Of course, some tasks lend themselves to time limits than others. There is a method for setting time milestones called, the Pomodoro method.

There are six steps in the technique:

  1. Decide on the task that you need to do.
  2. Set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head, write it down, but immediately get back on task.
  4. After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 1.
  6. After four Pomodoro, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.

Clear your mind and come back to it

I do like to hyperfocus when I am writing. When I’m in the zone, this might mean I can go for a few hours without getting up from my laptop – not good! Now I wear a wrist pedometer that vibrates when I need to move (yes, I often ignore it). I also try to get my 10,000 steps in a day, so that requires that I walk more between tasks. That is a stronger motivator. I really want to avoid a long treadmill session, so I prefer short walk breaks spread out over the day.

Conclusion to improve productivity

Perhaps you will only use a few of these productivity tips, but even if you use one or two, no doubt you will see some improvement for gaining more creative time in your day for your priorities. Please comment below if you have found any of these ideas helpful, or if you have some of your own to add!