Friday, July 10, 2015

Things you can do today to increase productivity tomorrow


You're thinking wait, it's Friday, screw this post because tomorrow is Saturday I don't need productivity in my life on Saturday. Right? Maybe?  I know, not a great post for a Friday.

Anyway. I'm a very productive person. I get shit done. I'm definitely down with downtime, but I have to earn that time - I like to feel like I deserve that relaxation. I can give you a list of things I do in the mornings, but for me the true secret of increased productivity is doing things the night before to line me up for a great tomorrow. Things like...

1. Formulate tomorrow's to do list today. I do this every afternoon before I leave work. It has my work stuff on it with the top three priorities at the top, what type of exercise I'm going to do, any errands that need to be run, what's for dinner, and chores I have to take care of. This does two things: it stops my mind from racing to track down those things when I'm trying to go to sleep, and it gives me a road map for a successful day the next day. I don't waste time figuring out what to do when. It's already figured out.

2. Clear the surfaces. I don't operate well in chaos. I like to put my house to sleep when I go to sleep so I know I'll wake up to a clean slate in the morning. No dishes in the sink, no clutter crapping things up. I won't feel it weighing on me when I get up. Likewise, I clean off my desk or at the least put stuff into piles I'll tackle the next day when I leave my office.

3. Get out of your own head. Do a little exercise. Read a book. Watch a little TV. Weed your flower bed. Relax your mind and stop thinking about all the things you have to do. Just put yourself on auto pilot and loosen the reins a little.

4. Practice gratitude. What does gratitude have to do with productivity, you ask? Gratitude has everything to do with everything. If you want to attract more good, you'd better appreciate the good you have first. Every day before I go to sleep I do a down and dirty five things I'm thankful for list. Sometimes the things are big, but they're often small. If you don't tie yourself to the things you should be grateful for, you become an arrogant dick and everyone hates you. It's hard to get things done when everyone hates you. Does that reasoning work well enough?

5. Refresh. Get a good sleep so you start tomorrow in top condition. Remove distractions, wear a sleep mask, stop with the technology an hour before bed. Sleep is important.

What about you? What do you do today to prepare yourself for a successful tomorrow?
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40 comments:

  1. To-do lists helps me a lot. Get out of your own head and Clear the surfaces is a very good advice I need to follow.

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  2. Well I need to get better at all of these - the main ones is clearing the surfaces and making to do lists - need to get better at that!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. I totally do the same thing with my house at night. I straighten the throw pillows in the living room and clear off the table/coffee table so everything at least appears in order when i get up. It really helps calm my anxiety. :)

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  4. This is spot-on, Steph. I am so much more productive when I get a good night's sleep, after tenatively planning my next day. It's a road map; sometimes there are detours, but I like an idea of where we are going. We are cleaning the house before we leave so that we come home to a clean house. It makes a difference. And cheers for Cafe Bustelo. :-)

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  5. Number one on my gratitude lost today is that we did not lose power during that storm last night! Whew! Agree on all! Getting you and Stephen out in the mornings, I usually had stuff out the night before & stayed at a no where job because of the 2 minute commute. You were excellent and you and Stephen were not close in age and his day care was up the street. I was lucky!
    Carpe diem. Love, your Momma

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  6. lists = YES! every day i sit down at my desk and plan shit out for the week. important shit mind you; i've learned to live with the chaos that is my child who can't seem to grasp the idea of tidying up. i 100% agree with the good night sleep; last night was awful because i did an evening workout (even though i know evening workouts mess with my sleep but it was muay thai so i had to go, duh) and now i'm tired as f*ck.

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  7. This is awesome. I think the biggest thing I should do is just have a nightly routine. I know I do better when I follow routines (you can't be unmotivated to do something if it's so routine you don't even question doing it anymore), but the end of the day is when I'm least disciplined. It also tends to be the part of the day where I'm desperately scrambling to get caught up on side projects.

    The one thing you listed that I do actually do is daily tasks. I assign all my to dos at the beginning of the week, and lately I've been a tad better about limiting the number of things per day so that I don't agree to do a ridiculous number I can't keep up with. I still try to do too much, but at least it's less than before... so progress?

    Random question: are you still doing the thing where you lay out all your outfits at the beginning of the week?

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  8. The to-do list is the best way to set up my next day... I really need to clear the surfaces though. You wouldn't believe what a disaster my desk is - and the worst part is, I don't even know how it happens. I feel like the paper fairies come every night and just dump crap all over it.... even when I get it clear, it stays that way for less than a few hours. Embarrassing.

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  9. I feel like I've really simplified my life so much that the only thing I have to prepare for tomorrow is my mind. I try to turn off the electronics and hour before bed and get a good nights sleep.

    When school starts in August all that changes though, I'll actually have to get someone up and out of the house by a certain time of day.

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  10. Great tips!! I am a huge list person. Writing lists all day every day! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  11. These are great tips! Lists are like my favorite things!! ;)

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  12. I like to prepare for the next day by making a list of things I need to get done. From laundry to errands and maybe some blogging stuff too. It always helps relax me if I have a list. I also have a gratitude journal that I try to write in almost every night. It also helps clear my head to do something creative in my journal or planner. I do try to clean up before I go up to bed but sometimes the mess of toys is too exhausting to deal with. The kitchen has to be clean though!!

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  13. I've noticed that since I've been reading for an hour before bed with all electronics off, I've slept so much better.

    I do several of these things, especially clear the countertops before bed and my desk is cleared and prepped before I leave work too. I wouldn't call myself type A necessarily, but there has to be a word for people who like clear surfaces.

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  14. I am not very good at productivity day to day. I can be extremely lazy. So I totally appreciate this post, friday or not! have a good weekend Steph :)

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  15. I especially love the first 2. I get so much more accomplished when I make a list. I also get more done when a space is clean. If there is too much clutter I get stressed out & it seems like there is even more work to be done so I am more likely to walk away.

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  16. #1 for sure. I can't sleep if I don't get everything out of my head, particularly the top things that HAVE to get done the next day. I like having a plan!

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  17. I always do the first one!This is a great post! So helpful. I get so much more things done when I make a list.

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  18. I have so much on my plate right now i am letting so many things fall by the wayside. need to step up my game!

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  19. I love waking up to clean counters & table tops... but have the worst time making them happen every night ... sigh...

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  20. Great tips! And they certainly have clout coming from someone who gets so much done during the weekends but still has fun. Clearing surfaces is incredibly key- it's so hard to do anything with no free space.

    PS the new pics of the dogs- I die. I LOVEEEE when dogs do the head tilt.

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  21. I try to reduce clutter and spots/stains. Just making the bed, washing the dishes (we don't have a machine right now), wiping counters, and tidying up the bathroom can make a huge difference in my mood.

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  22. I need to adapt all of these practices! Every morning is frantic and I know that's no way to start the day. This morning the alarm clock went off at 5:00. I wasn't out of bed until 6:05 which left me with exactly 10 minutes to get out the door. It would be nice to wake up to lunch already made in the refrigerator, coffee setup in the pot, an outfit picked out. I need help! I have the time at night. Why don't I do myself a favor and set myself up for success the next day :)

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  23. 1 & 2 are so important! I have to have my home all tidy when I go to bed, and I always write my to-do list the night before.

    I also put together my outfit the night before - I hate having to rush around to find a certain pair of pants or ironing a shirt before work. It's so much easier waking up and knowing it is all ready to go!

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  24. I cannot relate to #1 or #2 at all. LOL However, I am in total agreement re: Cafe Bustelo bricks. And I'm betting I'd love the teal rolling cart.

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  25. To-do lists are my savior or nothing will get done. Having said that, nothing is getting done tomorrow because jet lag. lol

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  26. I have to clean my kitchen and make a to-do list along with a rough idea of meals and various errands/activities. I need a basic schedule and idea of how to use my time if I'm going to be productive. If not, it all goes to hell. I like that you call it "putting your house to sleep". I do that, too, but never thought of it that way.

    Scott and I were just talking this morning about how we can be more productive in the mornings so the timing of this post is quite a coincidence.

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  27. I'm always in awe of how organized and productive you are, I need to channel my inner-Steph!

    Happy Friday <3

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  28. I'm the same way. I like to feel rewarded when I take some time off for myself. So I definitely hustle and get things done. I can't operate in clutter either so I need to clear tables, desks, etc. off before I work. That's a must! Great list!

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  29. We are so similar, it's funny. I can't leave my office with a messy desk (not that I ever really let it get messy to begin with) and I don't believe in having piles of stuff around my house. I'm obsessed with clear surfaces. And if it's not on a list, I probably won't remember to do it; if it's on a list, I make sure it get's done.

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  30. A good night's sleep, a work out, some coffee and a cleared work space are what get me going! Hope you have a great weekend!

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  31. Today I'm grateful that I live in the age of google. Man oh man, how did people get stuff done when they had to spend all day using card catalogs and phone books and reference books and dictionaries?

    And yes, I read the post this morning, had nothing interesting to say, and revisited bc I just realized that google makes my life better.

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  32. I really think we would be great domestic partners.

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  33. I start everyday with a to-do list. It really helps move your day forward and be productive.

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  34. I need to get out of my own head but can't because I need to reset first - which is something the bf and I are planning for the first weekend in August, a mini getaway because I'M LOSING IT! I try to make to do lists the day before so I know what to anticipate but if not, I do it first thing in the morning. Eliminating/reducing clutter the night before is also a great way to start the day. I hate waking up with a cluttered home/work space. Enjoy your weekend Stephanie! Take Care -Iva

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  35. I love this. I make to-do lists too, both for work and for personal. I couldn't function without them.

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  36. I used to make massive "To Do" lists, and then I got lazy. I really need to make this a priority again!

    Also "It's hard to get things done when everyone hates you" made me laugh so hard.

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  37. Great list. Firm believer in lists and always going to bed with a clean kitchen. Catching up on posts-- thanks for the book recommendations. I'm behind in all my blogger recommendations-- but finished the Husband's Wife recently and enjoyed it.

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  38. I'm loving these gratitude lists at the end of the posts! I've said it a lot lately but I think mindfulness and gratitude are so important!

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