Make your day productive - 10 pieces of advice for everyone

By Vladimir Marchenko

Productivity is considered to be competent time management that allows you to accomplish all necessary tasks in the allotted interval. Every productive day brings you closer to your big goal and is one more step from your current level towards the place where you see yourself in the future. With every small achievement and awareness of the benefits of every hour that you devote to your aims comes satisfaction.

1. A good start is half the battle

A great morning sets the pace for the whole day. To wake up easily, you should adhere to a settled regime, i.e. go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day even on the weekends. After waking up, do some gymnastics (moderate aerobic exercise improves mood for 8-10 hours) or meditate. Before breakfast, do have a glass of water with lemon about 15-30 minutes before eating and take a contrast shower. During breakfast, we tend to either eat plenty of food (after all, breakfast is considered to be “the most important meal of the day”) or have just a coffee and a cigarette. First of all, breakfast should be balanced and healthy, so that you have enough energy until the next meal. Oats, yogurt, fruit and eggs are considered to be universal breakfast.

2. Stick to the plan

It is best to make plans for the coming day the night before and only look through them in the morning. The list should include at least 3-5 important tasks that can actually be done during working hours. It is also advisable to allocate the time for each of them. If the upcoming tasks are too complicated the list can be shortened but it still should contain important things that must be accomplished by the end of the working day, regardless of the circumstances. If there are no serious tasks you can always write down small things you usually don’t have the time for. Making lists and plans disciplines you, helps to prioritize important aims, as well as switch to the work mode.

3. Say no to multitasking

Although multitasking is a skill that is very appreciated by employers, it is not very useful for us. Yes, over time, we get used to reacting to all incoming stimuli, however, the effectiveness of doing several things at a time is lower than focusing on one task. Multitasking reduces performance by 40%. A constant shift of attention leads to the loss of concentration, and even in the moments of calm a person does not know what to do with himself and scrolls through the newsfeed of social networks and media. Researchers of this problem recommend using the “20 minutes rule”, which implies concentrating on one task for at least several 10-minute sets, without being distracted by anything else.

4. Complete your main tasks first 

It is no wonder procrastination is called the "disease of the 21st century." Sometimes, we have to fight it in radical ways, pull ourselves together and complete the most important tasks before the deadline. Accomplishing a difficult task first is also quite relaxing as during the rest of the day you will have to deal with less important issues. Such an approach improves productivity and helps you experience less stress throughout the day. You can draw an analogy with students who pass the oral exam. Those who are the first in the queue to come in and present are usually less stressed in comparison with those who have to wait for their turn longer.

5. Make the best of the “unused” time

Time spent on the road or in a queue is considered to be wasted as during these periods we usually do nothing important. However, this is not entirely true, and this time can be devoted to self-development as well. The famous writer S. King advises to find the time to read (or listen to an audiobook) at any available opportunity. You can also reply to e-mails, messages in social networks, and missed calls. You can do quick warm-ups or watch educational or motivational videos. This may be a good opportunity to repeat affirmations and replenish your energy by listening to your favourite music or even taking a nap.

6. Learn to say no

This skill is closely related to the avoidance of multitasking. The ability to say no may be very important in order to maintain focus on the current tasks. When saying no, avoid the phrases “I'll think about it” or “I'm not sure,” as they still impose certain obligations on you. Ultimately, the desire to please everyone leads to stress, burnout and depression. At the same time, learning how to say no to the tasks that are not related to your main goal helps to focus on the important stuff and gives you enough time to complete what has already been started, without overloading your brain with the unnecessary information. This improves productivity and brings satisfaction from the work done. However, you don’t need to constantly refuse everyone, and, instead, should be flexible in it.

7. Take breaks

A constant focus on daily tasks takes too much energy and causes unwillingness to continue working. For this reason, breaks are necessary, and the Pomodoro technique is considered to be quite efficient for this purpose. It implies plunging into the task for 25 minutes and taking a short break straight after. Then again follows a 25-minute “surge of performance” work interval. Every four Pomodoro sessions terminate with a longer half-hour break (may as well be a half-hour sleep). This technique may not be suitable for everyone as sometimes it is difficult to plan the day by the hour, but it can serve as the basis for developing your own work mode. What concerns the limitations of this technique, it is not suitable for planning the meetings, as sometimes they are delayed, and may be not worthy for those people whose schedule may suddenly change during the day.

8. “Three good moments” 

One of the easiest ways to cheer up is to think about something good that has happened or is happening in your life. Practising mindfulness will help here.  However, there is one more simple recipe, it's called “three good points”.  The technique is based on recalling at least three inspirational episodes from your life. It can be very simple events, having a walk on a nice day, helping an elderly person to cross the street, and hearing a compliment from someone you don’t know. Not to mention that helping others positively affects our mood and makes us feel meaningful to others.

9. Stay productive even at home

Productivity does not apply only to work. Upon arriving home, analyze your day a little, think why it was not possible to complete some tasks and what could have been done better. Accept that everyone makes mistakes and sometimes things may not go as planned. An important thing is to make conclusions so that you can avoid the same mistakes in the future. Praise yourself for a well-done job and celebrate even smallest victories. Give yourself a good rest and, after, prepare your clothes and plan for tomorrow. It is sometimes advised to switch to physical work, for example, carry out some cleaning in order to reload your brain. Moreover, daily small cleanings eliminate the necessity of spring cleaning over the weekend, which sometimes takes several hours of your time. Additionally, you can split the cleaning into several days, for example, washing can be done on Tuesday and dry cleaning on Thursday.

10. End your day with a meditation and a “night boost” 

Listening to the relaxing sounds of nature to fall asleep may be a nice end to the day. Such sounds usually include bonfire crackling, rain noise, animal sounds, splashing water, etc., which may as well be combined to achieve the best effect. A set of the most popular soothing sounds can be found in the Hypnopedia application. Also, it has the function of reproducing affirmations during sleep (without waking up the user), at the sleep stage best for the preception of affirmations. Short motivational statements are played several times per night and, in the long term, pump your abilities and improve the mental health. The application provides you with an easy rise in the morning thanks to the smart alarm clock function that selects the best wake-up time in the given interval. All the features of the Hypnopedia application contribute to your productivity by making the best of the sleep time that was previously completely unused.

Productivity implies constant work on improving yourself and changing the attitude towards your schedule of work and rest. It allows you to consciously plan your activities, replenish the energy, work productively, rather than long hours, find interesting solutions, get rid of unimportant tasks, and, above all, - control your work and its results.

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Hypnopedia Mental health Motivation Positive thinking