Want to squeeze out every moment of every day like a superstar? It’s not hard if you program your mind and body with some simple hacks.
Start Your Day Right
How many of us switch on our smartphones the moment we get up in the morning? Most of us do, and it’s time to ditch this harmful habit. Instead, stay in bed for an extra five minutes after your alarm goes off. Focus on your breathing and engage in a 15-minute power yoga session or another quick exercise. Do your stretches and feel your muscles unfurl after a good night’s rest. Before the madness of your morning routine begins (making breakfast, packing lunches, etc.), take some time out to acknowledge your body. This is also a great time to quickly make a concise day plan.
Don’t Get Distracted
You’re finally stationed at your desk, ready to go, when a notification about the latest recommendation on Goodreads pops up. Ignore it. Studies have shown that it takes a person more than 15 minutes to return to their original task when distracted by an electronic device – usually a smartphone. Along with ignoring devices, you should also shut out unnecessary interactions with people who will take up your time without offering anything productive in return. If you’re afraid of seeming rude, keep these interactions until the end of the day, when all your major tasks are completed.
Hate It? Do It!
Speaking of those tasks, many of them can be quite cumbersome or even downright boring. Unfortunately, these are also tasks that absolutely must be done. Remember your day plan? Place your least interesting tasks at the top of your to-do list so you get them out of the way first. It could be proofreading an 800-page document full of spelling errors or mundane research on clams – whatever they are, get them done. Doing so will make your preferred tasks seem even more desirable, and you’ll find yourself more energized to take them on.
Finish the Quick-Fixes
Some tasks will be quite easy, and that’s precisely why you keep pushing them to the bottom of the list, promising yourself that you’ll get to them eventually. If they’re brief in terms of time and energy required, just get them done. The result will be a feeling of positivity and accomplishment at having ticked off several tasks. You’re already having an extremely productive day. Now you can reply to those emails, make that phone call you’ve been putting off, or refill the cartridge in your printer – it just takes a minute or two.
Smell the Roses
Finally, it might sound insignificant, but take a moment to step back and enjoy life. Half-hour subway ride ahead of you? Read some of that novel you recently started. Extra 15 minutes before your next meeting? Watch a fun video on your phone or spend a few minutes with a mobile game. Appointment cancelled at the last minute? Take a quiet walk in the park with your phone’s ringer off. These short breaks are like power naps – designed to refresh you and reboot your brain. Then, when you’re back behind that desk, you’ll be your best, most productive self.
Lisa Day | DBPC Blog