How To Start A Productive Day
Productivity – the magic word of today.
Who wouldn’t want to make their day more productive, achieve more and finish work earlier? There are clever tips everywhere, but most of them fail when it comes to implementing them, because you simply take on far too much from one day to the next. No one becomes an early riser from one day to the next, does yoga and meditation every morning, and then chops fruit for his energy smoothie in a relaxed manner so that he can drive to work in a good mood (and on time). Nope. That’s bullshit. There may be people who can do it – but I’m not like that myself and I would never give you tips like that either, because they only have the opposite effect: Demotivation. So how can you get a grip on your unstructured laziness? I’ll tell you about a few things that already work well for me and also about a few things that are not really ingrained in me yet, but would definitely make my day even better.
1. the next morning already depends on the evening.
This is the killjoy part and what mummy has always preached: Go to bed early, my child – then you’ll be fit tomorrow. Mom was always right. I was always firmly convinced that I needed very little sleep and was not infrequently still awake until three in the morning, wasting my time on the Internet instead of sleeping. I wasn’t particularly tired during the day, but I struggled out of bed like a beast and couldn’t get to sleep well the next night either, so it was late again. A vicious circle. So what should you do? Don’t touch your cell phone after 10 p.m. (setting the alarm clock is allowed) and get ready for bed. Ready for bed means: get changed, brush your teeth, remove your make-up, pee, get into bed. Best in that order. 10 p.m. is reading time, because reading makes you smart and tired – a great combination for being productive. The light should go out at 11 p.m. at the latest – and don’t touch your cell phone again when you’ve just read yourself so tired! An open window (depending on where you live) ensures good oxygen in the bedroom, which wakes you up faster in the morning and is guaranteed not to be wrong for nightly regeneration processes.
2. get up. DON’T SNOOZE.
I am a world champion at snoozing and I hate myself for it. I can snooze for 2 hours straight, even if I set multiple alarms for myself. I just hit the snooze buttons in a 2 minute marathon. This kind of behavior not only makes you start the day annoyed and a bit aggressive, it also wastes valuable time. Getting up immediately is only bad once – snoozing is bad up to 56 times in extreme cases. So – close your eyes and get through it, the more often you do it, the easier it will be.
3. sports. Is murder. At least in the morning.
Now comes the part where all the books talk about yoga, jogging and meditation. Personally, I find it super hard to do sports after I get up, I just CAN’T get myself going. Neither push-ups, nor squats or YouTube yoga. I just feel like a limp worm, shaggy, without makeup and without a bra. You would have to throw yourself into sports clothes first and then take a shower and so on. Oh, much too strenuous. If you can do that, you simply ignore this third tip and go through with your hardcore program, at this point I would like to express my deepest respect. If you want to do your body some good after getting up, a whole glass of non-carbonated water is already a good start, because at night you lose an enormous amount of fluid, which your body urgently needs again in the morning. Who starts only at 10 o’clock in the office with nem coffee, the CAN simply not concentrated work, because the body lacks liquid, in order to bring good achievements. Meditation and yoga can be done in the shower (depending on how big your shower is). Stretch and stretch, let your arms and head hang down for a bit and touch your toes (practice makes perfect), try to loosen your shoulders and do some stretches for your arms – it’s hard for me to put this into individual exercises pictorially, but you’ll notice what works well and what doesn’t, depending on your shower space. Take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed and focus only on your breath and the water splashing. After a mini shower yoga like this, you’ll be relaxed, clean, and maybe even have a couple of great ideas for the day – because good ideas usually come when you’re not forcing them and not even expecting them. Therefore, a notepad in the bathroom is not wrong.
4. eat breakfast the way you like it.
Some people can’t get anything down in the morning and some people can’t get anything done on an empty stomach – that includes me. Since I prefer to sleep a little longer in the morning instead of eating breakfast, I always take my breakfast with me and then have breakfast at the office. I also keep a sizeable stash at the office so I never go hungry – cereal bars from the desk drawer if need be. So see how you like it best and what does you good so that you can start the day well. Only then do you dedicate yourself to your actual daily planning.
5. set goals – but do it right.
If you think about what you want to accomplish today, you can be sure that you will accomplish a lot. But not everything you want to accomplish is really important. So think about a maximum of three daily goals that you absolutely have to accomplish. So that it doesn’t just say “finish presentation”, you should also cluster a path to this daily goal in individual steps for each daily goal – like this: Daily goal 1: Finish presentation 1. Collect material – information, images, logos, fonts 2. Create and structure presentation – how many pages, what format? 3. roughly transfer content and determine structure – what is missing? Too much text? Too little? 4. add missing content and shorten too long texts 5. check presentation for errors and let others read over it 6. polish presentation visually, finalize text formatting etc. 7. save presentation in several file formats and back it up You do this as precisely as possible and only then you start with the classic to-do list, on which the rather unimportant things can be placed. Go through these points briefly – are there things that can be done within three minutes? Then work through them immediately. Are there things that can be delegated? Then either hand them in immediately or mark them in color and deal with them later.
6. set breaks and email times
Breaks are important – not only breaks for eating, power snacking, moving or chatting, but also for time eaters for emails. It’s best to turn off those little push notifications of emails and calendar invites that distract you non-stop. These little things eat up an enormous amount of time, because it’s not uncommon to want to check “just quickly” to see what’s new. This message is guaranteed to wait for an hour until the next email break. If you consciously take your time to answer emails, it will be much more concentrated and altogether faster, than if you always take your time.
7. where do I start?
Once all goals are set, all tasks noted, and all breaks determined, you’re ready to start. But where do I start? I can tell you: Do the WORST thing first. I think they say “eat that frog”. If you get the thing you’re most concerned about over with right away, you feel like the king. Really. Imagine starting your day with THAT feeling – what could be better? So bite the bullet right away instead of having to think about it all day. A difficult phone call, a complicated task, a nasty problem – tackle it first thing and get it over with.
8. don’t interrupt – tunnel.
Sometimes you’re in the flow and you just get a lot done, can concentrate really well, Then some jerk comes up with some completely unimportant issue that takes you completely out. “Where’s the tape?” or “Can you come and have a look, my mouse isn’t working?” are absolute concentration killers. Communicate that you don’t want to be disturbed for an hour. Put a (nicely written) note on the door or communicate that you should not be spoken to when you are wearing headphones – of course this should only be introduced if you really only wear headphones in such situations. It will make everyone respect that you are busy if you announce it beforehand.
9. clean up the desk.
When I’ve finished a few tasks and I’m not sure where to go from here, I’m always in a tidying frenzy. I get up, tear open the window once and briefly sort things out. I get rid of the empty cups, throw away the trash, put away clean piles, put loose pens back in the cup, put away unused charging cables, sort out business cards. If necessary, feel free to give the desk a damp wipe or carefully dust off the screen (or remove fingerprints). Close the window, take a few more good sips of water, stretch hard, and you’re back to work with a clean desk and renewed energy.
10. the right closing time
Sometimes you just have to realize that you didn’t get it all done – and won’t get it done today. That’s okay, tomorrow is another day. Listen to your gut. How’s your energy – can you get anything done today or does it no longer make sense? Staying longer in the office, even though you are exhausted, makes no sense and should only be done in exceptional situations (deadlines), because the body is capable of higher performance under stress. In the long run, it only eats up time and is useless – rather go to bed early and get up fresh tomorrow to continue. Our Daily Planner Our Daily Planner from the #letsgetthingsdone collection is designed for daily planning – undated, so you don’t waste any pages when you’re on vacation, sick or just don’t have much to do. A double page for each day – here you have an overview of your appointments, to-dos and notes (for 123 days). In addition, you have the opportunity to think about a few things – what do you want to achieve, both professionally and privately? What brings you forward, spurs you on and makes you strong? What pulls you down, annoys you, inhibits you? Subconsciously you know these things, but when you have it in black and white, it is even clearer and you can motivate yourself more easily. The list of negative things should be reviewed regularly – what of them can I change, get rid of, avoid? The positive things, on the other hand, should be looked at very closely – what of them can I integrate more into my everyday life? What has been neglected lately? At the back of the Planner you have the opportunity to keep track of your monthly finances. Where did I order or buy? What is my order or customer number? When do I have to pay the bill? On this small motivation page you can collect the best compliments you have received lately. If you have achieved something you are proud of, you can also give yourself a compliment, that’s completely ok. If you have a slump, then just look at this page and refuel new courage. Here you can get an overview of which accounts you are logged in to everywhere on the Internet – in which store do I have which email address, which password, which username? Over the course of time, you’ll accumulate quite a bit! More from the #letsgetthingsdone collection: In addition to our Daily Planner, we also have our Weekly Planner, which you can use to plan your entire week. Here, it’s less about the details of the individual days, but rather the whole organization around it. When do I have to be where, what do I have to do, what do I have to buy, what do I eat? Also, a desk pad with a secret note area, pencils with magnetic caps, and much more – check it out! I hope a few of my tips have inspired you and you feel like getting started right now and planning your day or week! Have fun with it! Your Joana
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- 6 tips how to start your day productively
How to go from being a morning person to an early riser The early bird catches the worm, The early bird catches the worm, First come, first served and what proverbs there are that tell us that we should get up early. But if you take a look around the world, you’ll quickly see that successful and productive people do indeed tend to get up early, be productive and hardworking. We have gathered some of their proven tips here.
1. get up early
Early risers are known for their positive attitude, determination, problem-solving ability and optimistic mindset. Their tip: Think about the things that make you happy and that you are grateful for. Happiness starts in the mind. If you start the new day with a good feeling, it will automatically be easier to get out of bed. In addition, this way you create the 25th hour, which is so often wished for. And as the Chinese say: “Getting up three times early makes a whole day”.
Early risers have made the experience that they get more work done and are more productive in the “morning hour”. Most of the time, you are actually more undistracted and less distracted in the morning hours, which is why you can work with much more concentration. So getting a good, early start to the day is half the battle.
Who doesn’t know the saying: “In the morning like an emperor, at noon like a king and in the evening like a beggar”. And yet many leave the house without eating anything or armed only with a coffee. But a good breakfast is proven to be the most important meal of the day. Without a decent breakfast, your body is forced to cope with little to no energy and without energy, your brain can’t muster the power needed in college or at work to learn and think.
The morning is the perfect time to bring structure into your day. The best way to do this is with a to-do list. Doing this in the morning will help you be more productive. By simply moving from task to task, you can check off a lot of items – this will help you to better achieve your goals. The effect of this mundane tool is amazing. The brain doesn’t care how many of the plans are implemented. Just making such lists reduces stress!
Morning is actually also the perfect time to exercise. A few short yoga sessions, meditation or a simple morning workout will help you boost the brain’s endorphins – and that, in turn, leads to a positive mood. It can also boost your own creativity, energy and productivity, and reduce stress. So hop to it!
As much as getting up early is praised, healthy sleep is also important for our inner well-being. During sleep, your brain and body recover from the stresses and strains of daily life. The quality of your sleep influences how you feel the next day. And learning, working or thinking also depends on how you slept. Therefore, make sure you get enough sleep. Our tip:
- Only go to bed when you are so tired that you can’t stay up any longer
- Get up consistently at the same time every morning to stay in rhythm.
Who hasn’t experienced it: you have a mountain of tasks, start the day productively, and end up accomplishing just half of what you set out to do. This can quickly become frustrating, especially if you don’t know why you keep losing time. Actually, you wanted to get so much done, but the day went by way too fast again! To solve this problem, it usually just takes a little planning, time management and self-management. Therefore, we have compiled tips in our blog post, with which you can finally get rid of time thieves and actually achieve your set work goals. With a few tricks, you can easily get a handle on your time management to make your day-to-day job even more productive.
Set realistic goals
Before you start working, it’s important to set goals in advance. Whether you plan for just one day, a week, or a month, always make sure that goals are set realistically. Because if plans are not achieved, this can quickly demotivate you. Create a sense of achievement for yourself by choosing goals that can actually be achieved and that neither stress nor bore you. This way you will be more motivated to tackle tasks – with a goal in mind that can really be achieved.
Before you start working, think about what should definitely be done today. Which task is most important now and which could be put further back instead? Then start with the things that should be worked on first. It’s also helpful to divide tasks into priorities. For example, these can be marked according to importance or noted in different categories. In doing so, create your own order, which will give you an overview of which task has priority at this moment.
Divide large tasks into small stages
Even if your goals are clear, some tasks can seem too big and overwhelming. You would prefer not to deal with the issue at all and put it on the back burner for as long as possible. But at some point, the task always catches up with you. That’s why it’s best to start early enough. It’s helpful to divide the task into meaningful units so that the big picture becomes many small partial stages. Set yourself a schedule and consider how much time you should invest in each subtask. That way, in the end, the task will come together as a whole almost by itself.
Distractions quickly arise in the workplace, whether it’s emails, messages on your smartphone, or conversations with colleagues. Even though this is part of everyday work, such interruptions should be postponed to small breaks. After all, truly productive work only succeeds when you concentrate on one thing for a longer period of time so that you can tackle the task with focus. Avoid disruptive factors and divide your workday into blocks in which you can concentrate for a certain amount of time – without interruptions. Instead of multitasking, it’s monotasking! Take on only one task at a time and put all your focus on it. This is the only way you can really work productively on your individual tasks.
Set blocks of the day
Another tip: To make it easier to work productively, it is helpful to set blocks of days without distractions in advance. For example, set aside a long block in the morning, followed by a lunch break. After that, you can then tackle another block of work. With a little planning and self-management, you can set yourself up for a certain amount of work in advance and anticipate when it will begin and end – it’s motivating.
Whether at home after work, on the road or during work, you often suddenly think of things that you absolutely want to get done. But these ideas usually disappear just as quickly if you don’t write them down. That’s why it’s important to write down and structure thoughts instead of having them constantly in the back of your mind without actively working on a task. Make notes to write down or visualize work processes instead of just having them as thoughts in your head. This makes it easier to structure your daily routine.
Analyze your own performance curve
Are you an early riser or more of a night owl? In order to make your own work as productive as possible, you should know when you yourself are most concentrated. After all, if you are aware of your own strengths, you can use them in a targeted manner. In terms of time management, this means: Set working hours that suit you! If you prefer to get up early and start the day motivated, you should schedule blocks of work in the morning. If you are more productive in the evenings or at night instead, work later in the day if possible.
Do tasks in blocks
To give yourself an overview, it makes sense to divide tasks into similar blocks and tackle them one by one. This way you create order in a confusing chaos of different completions. Tasks can be sorted by priority or by type, for example. Do you still need to read and answer several emails? Then it’s best to do this in one piece before moving on to the next block of work. This way, you don’t have to keep switching media, for example, and can focus on one type of task.
Don’t be too perfectionistic
Even if it’s hard sometimes, don’t dwell too long on a task that has already been done. Because in this way, unnecessary time is often wasted that could already be invested in other completions. If you are not yet satisfied with a task, you can instead turn to another topic for a short time to check it off. Afterwards, you will have a clear head and new ideas for the previous task again. Nevertheless, it is important not to be too perfectionistic and instead invest time in outstanding completions instead of working on a task for too long.
We often take on way too much and would prefer to do everything ourselves. But this often doesn’t work and only leads to stress and an ever-growing mountain of work. That’s why it’s better to hand over tasks that can be done by others early on. Ask colleagues and delegate tasks to co-workers so that everyone has a similar amount of work and enough time to get it done.
The most important thing: find your appropriate method
With the help of the above tips, you may well succeed in developing a time management system that will make you more effective and productive. There are various ways to optimize one’s way of working in order to better manage one’s time. In the end, however, the most important thing is to find the right one among the many methods. After all, a different way of working often suits each person. Try different ways of working to see what works best for you. Sometimes all it takes is a few small changes in your daily routine and a few minutes of planning to better manage your time and finally leave the stress of your workday behind. Self-optimization Got a buttload of work, but just can’t seem to get out of your slippers? In this article, we’ll show you why that is and how you can become more productive. You know the situation: The to-do list in your head is getting longer and longer, the clock is running non-stop against you and yet you just can’t get into action. So day after day you go to bed with the queasy feeling that you haven’t made any progress. But before we answer the question “How do I become more productive?”, let’s take a look at the reasons.
The reasons for being unproductive
One of the main reasons people just don’t get on with their projects is an far too long agenda. Sure, you won’t get bored, but you don’t know what to do and how to do it. If, on the other hand, the list of projects is short, there is often a lack of planning. For example, you go to bed at night knowing what you still have to do, but not really knowing when you want to do what. You just let everything come to you. If you also lack discipline, things get tricky. We quickly get distracted by the smartphone, the TV or all sorts of other things. A little later, we realize that we haven’t made any progress. To help you (hopefully) make better progress with your plans in the future, we’ve put together some useful advice that you can apply immediately in everyday life.
Productivity tips for everyday life
1) What to do?
Before you can work meaningfully, you should first know what needs to be done everything that needs to be done. Often we talk about “tons of work”, although we have never actually put the amount into numbers so precisely. How much is “a lot”? Do you have 10 things to do, or 20? More or less? Strong productivity starts with good planning. You should avoid not having an overview overview of your tasks. Because the feeling of having to do tons of things without having them clearly outlined only burdens you unconsciously. No matter how much you have to do: Write down the individual things that need to be done! Make a note, get a whiteboard or use a digital checklist for this. When you have completed something, you can cross it off the list. You can also find free to-do lists in the download section.
2) Plan sensibly & realistically!
One of the most common mistakes is to do too much at once. The result: We don’t know anymore what to start with. Especially when you are motivated, this can happen faster than you would like. Therefore, try to before to make a precise plan before you start working. Think about from when to when you on which task you want to work on. It is very important that your goals are measurable, i.e. that you have defined when your task is done. (Read more about this: The SMART Method)
3) Set priorities and focus!
Once you have planned your tasks, you need to assign them an importance. Simply starting with the first task is great, but often not useful. Most of the time you will choose the task you feel like doing the most. Therefore, in order to increase your productivity, each task must be given a priority. The Eisenhower matrix can help you with this. With it you divide tasks into four categories. Afterwards you determine for your day exactly ONE main task on which you want to concentrate. Choose the task that is most important and urgent. This one has priority over all others and must be the task you start with every day. But: Allow yourself breaks and switch to another activity, if it just doesn’t want to work with the main task. Don’t force yourself so long that you end up with nothing at all.
4) Be rested and fit!
Get to know your body. Experiment with your DietWhat makes you fit, what makes you tired (see: Brainfood)? Test if you can more performance if you do some exercise before work. Whether it’s a run or a visit to the gym: time for 30-60 minutes of Exercise is always somewhere. Physical fitness makes you more productive. Find out how much sleep you need and improve your sleep habits, e.g. by studying sleep cycles and avoiding fatigue by sleeping in too long on days off. Maybe a 30-minute nap at noon will help you to get motivated again. Try to drink more throughout the day and avoid foods and beverages that can raise your blood sugar rise quickly and fall again just as quickly. If you like to drink coffee, be aware of when and how the caffeine it contains affects you. Also, see if you can be more productive longer with water or tea than with coffee.
5) Start well prepared!
Make sure that you before you have gathered your materials for work, made your coffee or tea, and done your business. This way you avoid having to interrupt your work every 5 minutes because of something – supposedly so important. This interruptions are in most cases just an excuse for not being able to start or continue with the real work. Instead, postpone such tasks to fixed breaks during your work, e.g. once every hour for 10 minutes. You can use special apps (e.g. a Pomodoro timer) or a normal alarm clock.
6) Learn to delegate!
Whenever possible, try to delegate tasks that you do not have to do yourself. yourselfto delegate further. You can find out which tasks to delegate using the Eisenhower table mentioned above. Especially as a self-employed person, manager or generally ambitious person, you quickly fall into the compulsion to do everything yourself, because you think that this is the only way to keep control. This costs a lot of time, which you could use much better. Often it is less stressful, more economical and more efficientto let a third party take care of one or the other task than to have to do it yourself. In addition, your employees will thank you for showing them what you are capable of.
7) Find like-minded people!
No matter what your goals are, here comes one of the most effective tips. Find people who tick similarly to you and also have ambitious goals. Together with like-minded people, we can often significantly increase our productivity. If you’ve ever played sports with a partner together knows the positive effects of this only too well. Together, we are worlds more productive than alone and last longer. The same applies to learning groups and to work in a team. When we are alone, it is easy to shirk important tasks. In a team, this is much more difficult. You don’t want to leave the others hanging and do your part. Another advantage is that such “sparring partners” can motivate us if we are sometimes not as productive as we would like to be. Therefore, gather like-minded people around you in life who inspire you and pull you along. People who understand or even share your goals and your thoughts. Don’t let yourself be influenced by pessimists or complainers.
8) Make yourself invisible!
Make sure that you don’t even think about doing other things while you are working. Check your e-mails only at certain times (e.g. 3-4 times a day) and banish your cell phone to another room while you are working. Why? The scientist Adrian F. Ward has meanwhile shown in a study that a smartphone within our reach lowers our drastically lowers our performance. Not because any radiation is responsible for this. Purely for the reason that we too often get carried away looking at the electronic helpers. You probably know this yourself, don’t you? So, even if you find it hard to believe: The world keeps on turning and your friends probably won’t immediately call 911 if you are not available for 2-3 hours.
9) Keep going!
There are moments when work is going particularly well. Use these times when you are “in the flow flow. If you are making good progress with one of your tasks, then continue working on it – if possible. It makes little sense to stop working at the the peak of your productivity (and perhaps creativity) to make a cut and continue with a completely different task. This is true even though you may have actually set your mind on something else (important things aside). Try to listen a little bit to your feeling your feeling. Are you bursting with creativity right now, are you literally soaking up new learning material, or have you not even noticed how time has flown by? Then take advantage of it and continue with it if possible.
10) Don’t get distracted!
Creative minds are always rattling. New ideas, projects and visions are constantly popping into your head and you want to implement them right away. Believe us, we know this only too well. Nevertheless, you should be careful not to lose the the red thread of your actual work. If you have an interesting new idea while you are working, then write it down. If you come across something interesting (or unnecessary, but funny) on the Internet, put a bookmark. As hard as it may be for you in this situation: Everything that is not related to the current topic is taboo now and has to wait. There will be a moment when you can deal with it instead.
11) Learn from your role models!
And that only from your role models. It is like in all other areas of life. Do not orientate yourself on people who tell you something but do not manage it themselves. You don’t need to listen to relationship tips from anyone who can’t show a happy partnership. Likewise, don’t take success advice from people without success to heart. Look at how real role models organize their everyday life and what tricks they use to achieve their goals. If possible, talk to them and ask for advice on how to become more productive. Most of them will be happy to share their knowledge with you. If you lack such role models in your own environment, read through biographies of people who inspire you. This way you can switch off with a good book and maybe even learn something for your everyday life.
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