Wondering how to have a productive day? If we’ve learned anything about the routines of productive people, it’s all in the planning. The right plan can take an unproductive week and turn it into a super successful one. There’s nothing I like more than sitting down for twenty minutes a day and planning my days out, even during the weekend. I’m a bit obsessive like that. I think my obsession with planning started with the Getting Stuff Done planner, which I use every day.
Finding a work/life balance is also all about how productive you are during the day.
Realize the importance of your time
You can write a to-do list as long as your arm, but are you really going to tick those to-dos off? Your time is valuable, which is why it’s so important to edit your to-do list first. I always do this by writing downtime slots for the things I need to do, which is a great way to stay on track. On the left-hand page of your Getting Stuff Done planner, block off your day hour by hour and write down what you can realistically get done within an hour.
There are 1,440 minutes in the day, and how you use them is up to you. You can use a crude version of the bullet journaling system, putting a dot by every task you need to do, then migrate them with a ‘greater than’ sign (>). Every task you complete turn that small dot into a cross. Write everything you didn’t complete in tomorrow’s daily pages with a dot, and make better use of your time.
How to have a productive day
Think about how many times you leave workouts and healthy food up to your future self, and then when it comes to it, you never do it. In order to create your most productive day ever think ahead. How are you going to worm your way out of the productive tasks you’ve set for yourself?
If your productive day ends with a killer workout, make sure you do it. The best thing I ever did was write down my expectations in my fitness planner. Beyond that, actually taking progress photos and sticking them in the planner made a huge difference. Nobody wants to see the same photo, again and again, so you will make the changes you need to see. Be tough on yourself; it’s the only way you’re going to get things done.
Harness the Zeigarnik effect
When you have a lot of tasks on your mind, you are more likely to experience the Zeigarnik effect. This psychological phenomenon means that you are more likely to remember interrupted or incomplete tasks or events easier than those you have completed.
You can harness this effect to make yourself more productive. The uncomfortable feeling of an unfinished task can make you go back and complete it sooner. While if you have issues with multitasking, you should start to see each new task as an interruption of your main goal for the day, meaning you will suddenly find yourself working smarter to make sure you finish your one main goal. I always start the day by writing this one goal out on the top of my to-dos, and I have to finish it by the end of the day, which amps the pressure up slightly.