It can be a challenge to jumpstart your productivity every day. That certainly was the case for me as I had no consistency at all. Some days I would start off my productive but for the majority I wasn’t. Over the years talking, seeing and living with productive friends (they are all self-help junkies like myself) I’ve noticed they all do similar things in the morning, so I started doing what they do. What one man can do, another man can do too. Right? After doing it myself I’ve come up with tried and tested ways to get yourself in a productive mode every single day. Here are five really simple and easy steps to jumpstart your day for maximum productivity.
1. Stoke the fire.
Before we can get any work done we have to warm ourselves up. After you wake up your body and mind are just warming up so to speak but we want to get them ready before we start working. It is like stoking a fire; you need to warm the coal bit by bit before the fire lights up. Your physical energy is your main source of fuel so we have to make sure to have it stoked before we can use it. This starts with freshening yourself up. Some people prefer to exercise before they start their workday. Others just need to use the bathroom, change their clothes and then start. Find what your routine is for stoking the fire and do that every morning before you start your day. By building a consistency in your routine you will discover that it will get easier and easier to start your day.
2. Upgrade yourself.
After stoking the fire, especially if you have exercised, is a great time to relax and upgrade your skills. Anything that will help you relax, further your education or calm your mind would be good to do. Over time when you upgrade your skills you will get better at your job and the things you do. Your productivity will increase as you learn to do things smarter, more efficient and in less time.
Meditation is a good way to spend your time before you go to the next step. Reading a book, reviewing notes and reading inspirational quotes are one my personal favorite activities. Oftentimes the nuggets you pick up during this time will affect how you get work done that day. Perhaps reading one chapter in a book changes your view on how you should do things or an inspirational quote gets you all excited on your future. We often don’t find time to educate ourselves so doing it in the morning (when there are no distractions) is the best time to do it.
3. Write down what you want to do today.
In order to for you to get work done, you have to be absolutely clear on what you want to achieve with actionable steps. When you don’t know how to achieve your outcome it becomes a lot harder to reach it. It’s like driving a car in foggy weather. Sure you might reach the destination but you will go very slow and with a lot of hesitancy. Instead, when you know what to do exactly in simple steps it’s like driving in sunny weather with a GPS system next to you. You know what to do, when to do it, you’re more motivated and you will reach your destination much faster.
Now that you know the outcome that you want, break it down backwards in actionable steps. Once you have the steps, decide which ones you are going to do first and write them down for you to do today.
4. Visualize the consequences.
One of the most powerful ways to overcome procrastination is by visualizing the consequences of your actions. Anything you do of importance will have (major) consequences for your life, be it positive or negative. By considering the positive consequences you can fabricate motivation for yourself.
Tony Robbins is famous for saying that we either move away from pain or we move towards pleasure. Would you get yourself started if you knew that doing X, Y, and Z would make you a millionaire? You bet you would if a million dollars had positive consequences for you. The reverse is also true where pain can act like your motivator. Would you act on your work if you knew not doing A, B, and C would disappoint your family and friends? I think so!
Before you do anything, take a moment to think and visualize the consequences. See how the consequences can make you get to work. Especially focus on the positive consequences because they will be your mental fuel for motivation.
5. Do it.
If you’ve come this far doing all the previous steps you’re already more productive than most people. However, what separates the best from the rest is execution. At this point you’re way passed the tipping point and now it’s time to get the snowball rolling. You have yourself set up for a productive day, the roadmap is in place, you know what the consequences can be and now the only thing remaining is to take action. So let’s get to work!
Thanh Pham is a productivity nerd and enjoys writing on time management. When he is not traveling the world with his gadgets, he is reading and writing on business, self-help and productivity.