I'm finally starting to find myself in a productive daily routine that I'm happy with - I spoke about Building My Idea Work Day just a few weeks back and also shared The Secrets To Being Productive. After having a few very unproductive days recently, I've started to discover what I actually need in my day for it to be a successful work day, and I thought I'd share them with you today.
An early start
I always try and wake up sometime between 7 and 8am, any later and I feel like half of my morning has already come and gone. I can sometimes work through half of my to-do list by midday as I tend to have a surge of energy in the morning.
Shower and get dressed before starting work
I used to think the best part of working from home was that I could stay in my pyjamas all day, but what I’ve found is that even if your office is in your bedroom it’s healthy to still get up, get dressed, and get ready for the day so your mind knows that it’s time to work.
A focused to-do list
Without a focused plan, I end up wandering aimlessly until 5pm when I realise I’ve wasted away the whole day. I shared on ALO a while back how to build A Productive To Do List and these tend to be the points that guide me.
The best environment
As a super introverted homebody, for a long time I’ve really loved working from home in my little office corner of my room. Over time though I’ve found myself feeling a little too caged in by the same four walls, so these days I try and head out two or three times a week to work from a coffee shop so I can actually remember what the outside world looks like.
To remember to have lunch
I’ve always been terrible at making time for lunch, though I’ve found without a meal come 1pm I will just slump throughout the rest of the day. Just taking 30 minutes to make a sandwich and catch up with blogs or Netflix helps me recharge before heading into an afternoon of work.
To use my hands
When your job is based online it’s super easy to never leave your laptop, though what I’ve found is a creative frustration for not having time to actually use my hands to create. I now make time in my creative process to step back from the laptop and go back to basics and write things down and play around with ideas by hand, and even though it may take a little longer I actually find it aids my productivity instead of hindering it.
As much as I can plan a productive and focused work day, anything can pop up and arrive in my inbox that needs my attention so I’ve found it’s best to stay flexible to any unforeseen changes to plans. A too rigid schedule doesn't allow for the unexpected, and this way when something pops up I can just adapt my day around it.
An afternoon slump
I tend to always slump around 3/4pm and I’ve found there’s no point fighting it and just to allow myself an hour or so to unwind, recharge, and switch off for a little. Building in breaks throughout the day is actually something I've found to make all the difference when utilising my productivity.
Time to step back
Whenever I’m working on content or client work, I always build in time to step back and then revisit any work before ticking it off as complete. This means I can revisit it with fresh eyes and have time to edit and make any adjustments - so most of the work I do in the AM and early afternoon is checked come early evening before I switch off for the day.
To avoid distractions
It’s far too easy to get distracted sometimes, and the only way to steer clear of procrastination and just get down to work is to make a conscious effort to avoid distractions. For me that means staying away from social media, putting my phone on silent, and keeping my tabs to a minimum as much as possible. I've spoke a little more in depth about single tasking here.
How about you - what do you need for a successful and productive work day?
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