How To Be More Productive And Motivated (Plan Your Day)
If Productivity Or Motivation Eludes You By 10.00am And You Start Scrolling Through Your Instagram Feed In Despair, Try Some Of These Top Tips To Get You Back On Track.
1. Always Plan Your Day
As the saying goes “run your day or the day will run you!”
So carefully select your planning “weapon of choice” to one that suits you & your own personal style of doing things.
- If good old paper, pen & post it notes works for you – keep doing it.
- If your prefer to use a planner, there are some beautiful ones around nowadays to make sure you get inspired. I LOVE using Carrie Green’s Perfectly Planned annual planner to make sure I’ve set out my quarterly goals and then break them down into monthly, weekly & daily tasks. (There are lots of other available from Amazon and other sources and if you love a motivational sticker or 10, feel free to add those in too.)
- Todoist is just about the most versatile online To Do List app going which keeps you up to date wherever you are from your smart phone.
- For something more robust you can’t beat Trello or Asana which are perfect for managing tasks, projects and teams.
- When budget allows and your team blossoms and grows Monday.com is simply awesome.
The simple fact is they all work.
If you use them.
The key is to plan 3-5 tasks every day (or the night before is even better) and then add them to your Google Calendar (as appointments with yourself) and then execute them.
2. Manage Your Time And Limit Distractions
One of the things that may have surprised a lot of people who have been working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown era is how much more you can actually get done with fewer interruptions or distractions.
In an ideal world, our office would be a place where the phone was answered by other people, meetings would all be virtual and you could focus on what needed to be done uninterrupted.
In reality that doesn’t happen.
And too much solitude is not healthy.
People have good ideas and brainstorming is usually very productive.
So calendar blocking is the only way you are going to block out your time to execute the tasks you’ve set yourself.
If you set yourself too many tasks to do or are unrealistic about how much time each one will take you are setting yourself up for failure.
If planning your day is in your control and you aim to take at least 3 steps towards your goals every day you will get there ahead of someone who attempts 12 daily tasks and reaches burnout by midweek.
Tony Robbins calls them your must-do’s.
Make each task non-negotiable and make them count.
3. How To Eat An Elephant?
A common block on both productivity and motivation is linked to taking on more than anyone person can possibly handle.
Now before you swing open the revolving bookcase and change into your superwoman outfit hear me out.
How do you eat an elephant?
The answer is one bite at a time.
Breaking large tasks down into manageable bite-sized pieces is a well-known and successful way of maintaining productivity and motivation as progress can be seen, measured, and monitored.
But a more common productivity block is thinking that by tackling the BIG tasks first you are in fact making more progress.
My business mentor used to tell me the story of climbing a mountain with a rucksack filled with rocks on your back as a visual of you reaching “your goal.”
The rucksack was filled with both small rocks and big rocks.
He always used to ask “which rock if you threw one out would get you up the mountain faster?”
The fact is that any rock no matter how big or small would lighten the load.
So don’t beat yourself up that you only managed 3 more steps towards your goals because they all count.
And that helps keep you motivated.
4. Your Environment Matters
One of the most rewarding parts of creating a work from a home office is that it can be both practical and pretty.
Nothing makes you feel more inspired than a clear desk to start your day.
Your home office space should not be a cluttered corner of the kitchen table or a laptop on your lap while you are still wearing your sweats lying in bed.
Your office environment should reflect the fact that you are a business owner and that you set about your day in a professional manner and are disciplined enough to manage your time and space because your future life depends on it.
Surround yourself with your vision board, scented candles, pictures of your family and anything else that you find motivating as you go about your day.
5. Take Regular Breaks And Get Outside Often
Being sat in a chair at your computer all day is neither healthy nor conducive to productivity or motivation.
One of the benefits of being 100% in charge of your day is that you can schedule regular breaks.
Research has shown that we work best in 45 minutes blocks of time followed by 15-minute breaks.
It may be the reason why school timetables look a lot like that 😊
The key to staying productive and motivated throughout the day is to make the most of your breaks by doing things that energize you.
- A healthy snack
- A herbal tea
- 15 minutes on a rebounder or a treadmill (hey, your office space is your productivity zone!)
- 15 minutes reviewing your goals and meditating
- Watch a motivational video (on the treadmill)
- Listen to 15 minutes of a podcast (on the treadmill)
- Sit outside and enjoy the tranquility (you’ll be amazed how inspiration strikes when you do this)
- Make that call.
We are born to move around and work in batches of productive time.
Make this work for you.
6. Don’t Spend Your Entire Day On Social Media
On average we can find ourselves spending over 2 hours a day on social media if we allow it to be on 24/7/365
I’m a fan of creating and scheduling at least 80% of my social media content (in my Ultimate Facebook Content Plan, I’ll show you how).
It’s because I know that it’s not the odd post here & there that is going to gain me the maximum number of leads for my business or sales for my products and if your ambition is to be an influencer then your strategy will be totally different to mine.
But you can easily lose time, productivity, and motivation just by scrolling Instagram and seeing something that knocks you off course.
Switch off and unplug while you complete your daily tasks and enjoy social media in your downtime instead.
Constant notifications to your smartphone and emails that can wait until later are another time suck you do not need when you need to complete your must-do tasks for the day.
7. Write Everything Down
Nobody has the ability to remember everything but what you thought about business in 2016 is worth writing down in a journal so you can give yourself a good belly laugh years later.
Whether it’s a journal, a diary, or your business planner it’s worth jotting down ideas that come to you like lightning bolts, gold nuggets you’ve found in a book, or training notes from a course or event.
If your mind expands further than a few lines think about using Evernote it’s like a filing cabinet for your brain.
You can organize everything in it and with it.
- Save snippets from websites.
- Make Notebooks and Notes for future reference.
- Create tags and hashtags to find everything you have filed.
It will seriously eliminate that entire bookshelf of lever arch files gathering dust.
It’s so darn useful!
8. Slay The Dragon And Know When To Call In The Cavalry
If you have set yourself 3 tasks for the day attack the one you are dreading first when your energy is high.
Often referred to as “Eat the Frog” taking on the task you have been putting off or dreading and dealing with it first will have a knock-on effect throughout the day.
You will feel elated, ten feet tall, and capable of anything.
And even if you feel your wings are strong because you enjoy flying solo most of the time always know that delegating to others is also a strength that is far more effective than trying to multi-task or doing everything.
As soon as you have the budget to start outsourcing areas of your business DO.
It will free up your creativity and keep you more focused on income-producing tasks where you are best placed to benefit everyone else and the business.
9. Focus On One Task At A Time
I tried my best to resist reading “The One Thing by Gary Keller” but when I finally made it my must-read book of the month I was amazed at how much more effective my time and efforts became.
It will help you:-
- Cut through clutter
- Achieve better results in less time.
- Overcome overwhelm and cut down stress.
- Stay on track and master what matters to you.
In fact here are my top 3 favourite productivity books for you to read if you are struggling with either productivity, motivation, or both.
And if you are interested in how I made that Instagram Reels video feel free to check out the blog post I wrote about that by clicking here.
10. Think Of The Future Outcome And Make It Positive
The biggest killer of all dreams, hopes, and business goals is without doubt self-doubt, lack of self-belief, and negative thinking.
Bob Proctor famously says “If you can see it in your mind, you’ll hold it in your hands.”
And that’s why writing down your goals, creating a vision board, nurturing an inner belief system that yields positives only is often referred to as “mindset.”
Will Smith calls it “playing chess starts by putting the pieces where you want them first.” It’s his Chess Master story and you can watch it here:-
Focusing on the end game.
Seeing the future as if you already have it right now.
Believing you are on the right track even when people are looking at you wondering what the heck you are doing.
They are all elements of the inner game that is constantly playing out in your mind.
Decide from day one that negativity of any kind has no place in your life and work from there.
- Plan your day in advance and block out the time you need to complete your must-do tasks or or it will run you instead.
- Manage your time like appointments with yourself or others.
- Take regular breaks, work in time blocks and relegate time spent on social media.
- Write everything down and use effective tools to manage tasks, notes and projects.
- Slay dragons, delegate as soon as budget allows and banish negatives from your life.
- Review your goals daily and focus on the end game.
Be kind, stay positive & believe in yourself!