How To Be More Productive
1. Get up at the right time for you
The early bird catches the worm but the bird who gets up at the right time is likely to have a more productive day. We all need around 7-9 hours of sleep and often day to day tasks dictate when this can be slotted in. According to the experts at Sleep.org we all have our own unique internal clock (the Circadian Rhythm) which dictates when we’re at our most alert and most sleepy.
To find your perfect rhythm play around with the time that you go to bed, if you’re exhausted at 11pm, head to bed at 10pm the next night. Or if you find yourself wide awake before your alarm is programmed to go off, try moving your bed time half an hour later.
Once you have the bedtime that works try as much as possible to keep to this so that your body clock stays in tune – allowing you to be most productive.
2. Go to bed with a clear head
Nothing disrupts a night sleep like mind full of things to do. Making a list of the 5 most important things to do tomorrow, in priority order (more why that’s important below) before winding down to bed can leave you with a clearer mind. And if you’re likely to have a stroke of genius at 3am, have a note pad next to your bed (not your phone as the light can distract you from sleep). Then you can get back to sleep and deal with being a genius when you get up.
3. Practice mindfulness
It might seem counter intuitive to spend precious time in the morning, staring into space but mindfulness has been proven to increase productivity by clearing out clutter and distraction, allowing you to focus your attention on one thing at a time.
A study in Science Daily concluded that “mindfulness has been shown to improve three qualities of attention – stability, control and efficiency,” and went on to show that “individuals who completed mindfulness training were shown to remain vigilant longer on both visual and listening tasks”.
If you’ve never tried mindfulness and aren’t sure where to start, check out this guide from Mindful.org.
4. Eat the frog!
Energy levels are highest first thing so use them wisely by tackling the biggest priority on your list. Often that is the most complex or tricky task, resist any urge to put it off as chances are you’ll need your energy for this one. Grab that list from last night and get cracking with the most important task. Set yourself a timescale and move away from any distractions. Not only will you have crossed your most difficult off your list you’ll also get a massive boost of achievement and motivation to crack on with everything else the day throws at you.
5. Spend time with loved ones
All work and no play makes Jack dull and unproductive. If we are constantly rushing to get to the office without taking time to connect with those we love, we can miss out on the benefits of human interaction. If you have to be up and out before the kids are up, why not use the time to check in with a friend or parents (just check they’re an early riser too).
Making time to spend with family and friends, reduces stress and depression. As well as giving a sense of connection and perspective to things going on outside the world of work.
As the saying goes a change is as good as a rest, so start re-jigging your day to allow time for loved ones & catch up on work later with a new sense of productivity and perspective.
Have a go at incorporating these steps into your morning routine and let us know how it boosts your productivity. Or if you’ve got any tried and tested tips share them over on our Facebook page.