Did you just get done with a tiring day at work or with the kids, and still feel like you didn’t accomplish a lot? Looking for some ways to supercharge your time management skills and have a productive day? We’re here to help. Read on to discover 5 of the best productivity hacks that will help you accomplish more in the hours that you work, and tick more things off on your to-do list. Learn how to plan a productive day and get our free productive day planner and 14-day challenge.
Wondering how to plan a productive day? Here’s the answer, in a nutshell: In order to plan for a productive day, you need to take advantage of the time when you’re most productive, create a schedule, eat the frog (do the thing you dread first), keep distractions at bay, and batch process your work.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. Here’s how to tackle some of those tips, in more detail.
Looking for the printable productivity challenge with the productive day planner? Grab it at the bottom of the post!
Take Advantage of Your Best Time of Day
Most of us have a particular time in the day when we feel the sharpest and at our energetic best, and taking advantage of it can be an excellent way to make you much more productive. Shift your schedule around the times when you feel the most motivated and ready to work and let nothing else disturb you during that time.
Create a Schedule
Okay, you probably guessed this one coming! Creating a schedule and staying on track actually simplifies your tasks for you, and you’ll definitely be able to get more stuff done. If you’re someone who always tends to run out of enough time to do things, you can consider assigning specific time slots to specific tasks of your day.
Scheduling in all of your tasks allows you to be realistic about your time. You’ll want to leave yourself a little buffer every couple of hours in case something takes longer than expected. But overall, scheduling your tasks into time slots will help you manage your time and avoid piling too much on your plate.
Eat the Frog
If you’re a victim of your own procrastination habits, this trick could turn out to be exceptionally helpful when it comes to getting you at your productive best. Figure out the most important task of your day (and often it’s the most unpleasant one), and do it the first thing as you begin the day, as opposed to trying to accomplish everything else and leaving it for last.
This habit has been adopted by some of the most successful people in the world, and that’s no surprise considering how effectively it tackles one of the biggest problems some employees face today—failure to execute.
It’s especially great for those of us who tend to be “productive procrastinators”—that is, doing things that need to be done eventually, but don’t necessarily need to be done right now. While we think we’re still moving forward, we’re not. Do the unpleasant thing—the hard thing—and your day can only get better from there.
Keep Distractions at Bay
Everything from those constant WhatsApp notifications to the email pings can be a huge distraction when you’re deep in an important task, and all it takes is one notification to completely derail your focus.
In fact, experts believe that checking your email (and social media of course) too often can lead to a decrease in productivity levels. So the next time you sit to work, put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode and put it face down on your desk or in a drawer. When it comes to the computer, reply to your emails in one shot, and then close the tab! Check-in a couple of times a day if you have to, but most of us do not need to answer emails the second they come in.
Last, but not least, getting things done in batches can help you accomplish more, and get tasks done in a much more organized way. Checking and replying to emails 5 or more times a day isn’t ideal. Instead, just having 2 specific times in a day when you get back can save you a lot of time and effort too. Switching between too many tasks will make you feel less organized and even overwhelmed.
Batch processing saves time because your mind can focus on one type of task and avoid constantly switching gears. For instance, as a blogger, I find I’m more productive with my time when I batch my writing together during the first part of the day and work on images and graphics in the second part of the day. It just helps you create a better workflow.
Those are some of our top tips on how to plan a productive day, but you’ll find more in our 14-day productivity challenge below. It also includes a productive day planner that you can print out and use every day.
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