We all want to maximize our work hours, and nothing can be worse than realizing your morning has slipped away from you before you know it. My secret is boiled down to five simple tips to make sure my day starts off strong and gets my mind going on all the problems I have to solve today. So what are the secrets to ensure every day is a productive work day?
Create a Job List for Your Productive Work Day
Organizing your day as your first task is going to help you create a plan involving what can and should be accomplished to make it a productive work day. Whether you use the traditional pad of paper or sticky notes, an online tool like Evernote, or the totally awesome and free Creative Branding daily planner/to-do PDF!
With our planner we also added a few fun things to keep your brain going, including a daily doodle, (drawing increases brain function) a reflection on something new you’ve learned, and other small tasks besides work you have ahead of you. The better the picture of the day, the easier it will be to take on.
Exercise Your Body, Relax Your Mind
Before starting if at all possible spending twenty minutes or so doing some exercise will increase your blood flow and help speed up your thought processes. By allowing your body to release any built up stress physically your mind will be more calm and ready to tackle your next challenge.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be an intense work out, even walking the dog or from the bus station to work should be enough to get your blood moving and into the right mindset for the day.
It’s all too easy to tune into our social media feeds and news websites first thing in the morning to help “warm up” but these quickly become timesinks that take us to lunch without any notice. Answer your relevant emails when you first arrive to the office and then dedicate your time until lunch or break to focus on your first “must do” task of the day. If you’re able to tackle this before your first break you’ll feel more empowered with the following jobs.
It may seem counter productive, but taking breaks (not too many, mind you!) will refresh you and help you focus on the job at hand more easily. Even in an intensive job, I try to make sure after 45 minutes I take at least a five minute break to give my mind a little breathing room.
A productive work day is also the result of a self challenge. Think about all you have overcome in your life and career when looking at your to-do list. Tasks that may have looked daunting a few minutes ago suddenly seem not so big. Perspective is second to production, remember where you’ve been and what you’ve already accomplished, they’ll get you where you’re going!