The short answer is, “yes, you can.” It won’t happen overnight, but the more diligently you incorporate a few new habits into your routine, the more likely it is you’ll see the results you want.
The key to starting your day off right is to begin the night before — and this is especially true on Sundays. Weekends may have been invented to rest, but they’re equally likely to leave us feeling more exhausted than before they began. Get into the habit of taking at least 15 minutes to prepare for the next day. Lay out your clothes, ready the kids backpacks, clean and pack your bag, prep for tomorrow’s meals, tidy up: do whatever you need to do so you don’t wake up in pure panic mode.
Start with Gratitude
Starting your day off with gratefulness can improve your mental fortitude and increase your productivity in noticeable ways. It can be as simple writing down one thing you’re grateful every day, or having a gratitude practice right before you meditate. The more you focus on the positive in your life, the more you’ll be able to handle problems that come your way.
Think exercise is all about toned abs and weight loss? It also makes you happier and smarter.
Maybe you exercise to tone your thighs, build your biceps, or flatten your belly. Or maybe you work out to ward off the big killers like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But how about sweating to improve your mind? “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning,” says Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of the book – Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. “Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.”
Fight Off Indecision Fatigue
Whether you’re a night owl or a lark, most of us make the best decisions at the beginning of our work day, no matter what time that is for us. All the decisions we make throughout the day, no matter how trivial, wear us down. Your brain is taxed with each and every new problem it has to solve, so think about the tough ones first. And choose your battles wisely. Be smart about which projects and people you want to invest time and energy in. Beware of “Energy Vampires” that drain your resources without giving anything worthwhile in return.
Tackling It All
Unluckily for us, routines only go so far. It’s why it’s important to do the toughest things in the morning, and then to take breaks throughout the rest of the day. Sometimes the consequences are severe when we push ourselves to keep going. Taking a break, eating a healthy snack, or mixing things up is one way to keep yourself on task, but it doesn’t necessarily reset our brains 100%. Knowing this can help you restructure your day so you’re taking advantage of your brain when it’s at its most capable.
When you’re at work, ensure you have all the right tools to facilitate your workflow. If you notice you spend ten minutes searching for files or that you have to run through 20 different steps to contact the right person, then it may be time to tighten up your technology and workspace. When you reclaim chunks of time that you formerly devoted to busy work, you’ll be able to focus your energy on more important matters.
Don’t expect instant results. This is the most important thing to remember when you’re trying to improve your productivity: it takes time. But if you incorporate even a few of these new habits into your routine, you’ll be rewarded with more time for what matters the most to you.
“Each tiny effort builds on the next, so that brick by brick, magnificent things can be created.” Robin Sharma