If you’re anything like me, it seems like there’s not enough hours in the day sometimes. Grinding at work, balancing time with your family, and tending to the everyday tasks in life can be overwhelming. I want to share with you five things that I do consistently to increase productivity & better manage my time.
1. Schedule Everything
We are blessed to live in a world where we’re all carrying around calendars in our pocket every day. If you’re not utilizing your calendar and reminders in your smart phone, what are you thinking?!?!
My entire day is scheduled in my calendar. Gym time, work obligations, time with my mentors, meals, date nights with my wife, quality time with my kids. It’s all organized right in my phone. It’s the only way to make sure you don’t overlook anything in the different areas of your life.
2. Plan Each Day & Perfect Your Morning Routine
Every night, you should take time to look at your schedule for the following day. It takes a max of fifteen minutes & it helps mentally prepare you for whatever is on your plate. Prioritize your schedule and be prepared for what you need to tackle going into the next day.
The way you start your day is crucial to the day’s success. We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s up to you what you do with them. It all starts with your morning routine. I start off every morning with Mind, Body, & Spirit. I make the time to work out, spend at least 15-20 minutes reading, and spend time strengthening my relationship with God. It’s a non-negotiable start to my day. Get up early and start your day off right! Most successful people I know will tell you that their morning routine is crucial to set the pace of the day.
3. Eliminate Distractions
We live in such a noisy & distracting world that if you don’t make a conscious effort to avoid the distractions, it’s guaranteed that your productivity will suffer. It’s amazing how much time people waste browsing social media, idly chatting with co-workers, taking coffee breaks, etc.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should delete Facebook and take zero breaks throughout the day. But this all circles back to your scheduling. If you use social media for work purposes, it should be incorporated into your schedule & you need to hold yourself accountable to handle what needs done and avoid wasting time browsing your feed. You should have a list of things you need to accomplish and avoid breaks until you knock X,Y, & Z off of your to-do list.
Distractions are everywhere. You have to become obsessed with at least limiting, if not eliminating them.
4. Maximize “Bonus Time”
We have a lot of what I call “Bonus Time” in our day that most people are not maximizing. Take your commute for example. This is a perfect time to listen to audio books and strengthen your mind. If you’re in leadership, it’s also a perfect time to reach out to people on your team to check in, motivate, and inspect.
During breakfast and your morning coffee, are you watching TV or daydreaming? Why not take this time to go through your e-mails or read something motivational? You must first recognize all of the areas where you have Bonus Time, and then commit to turning that into something productive.
5. Drink More Water
We all know that staying properly hydrated is a key to your physical health. But did you know it impacts your mental performance too? They did a study a few years back that found that mild dehydration (which can be so slight, you don’t notice it, or feel thirsty) can lead to inattention. If you’re not fully focused, you’re not going to be as productive as you could be.
You can ask anyone in my office, I keep a gallon jug of water right on my desk. It keeps me accountable to make sure I’m drinking enough water throughout the day. So instead of finishing a standard bottle of water and forgetting to refill it, or grab a new one, I know that by the end of my day, that gallon should be empty. Drink up!