Five Ways to Kickstart Productivity

BreakingModern – Do you ever get out of bed in the morning and feel like a zombie from the series Walking Dead, walking through the same daily routine? If so, it may be time to change the way you start your day, stepping out of zombie mode and into productivity mode.

There are numerous techniques and suggested tips you can incorporate into your morning routine to help you be more productive, from drinking a glass of water when you wake up, to making your bed first thing. The following are some key pointers that can help you start your day on the right, productive foot.

productivity spoonful of cereal

Start Your Day Right

Establish a morning routine that works for you and helps you make the most of your day. Some meditate, which has a myriad of benefits including reduced stress and anxiety, improved memory, learning and more. Others exercise in the morning, which helps your body burn calories faster and more efficiently throughout the day.

Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven says making your bed is the best way to start off your day:

“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”

Eating a healthy breakfast is another important morning routine.

Create a To-Do List

The old-fashioned to-do list is tremendously effective for productivity. First write a draft of all the things you want to accomplish for the day — don’t leave anything out, even if you know can’t do them all. Then, split the task lists into two columns and identify your “80/20” tasks, says Natural Medicine. The 20 percent tasks are the most important ones while the 80 percent tasks are the ones you can put off for a day or two, maybe a week. The more 20 percent tasks you do, the more productive you typically are. If you want to get a jump on the day, create the to-do list the night before.

Visualize an Outcome

Visualization is a powerful tool you can use to achieve short-term and long-term goals and has been used by athletes for quite a while to help them be more successful. According to the 39 Power Habits of Wildly Successful People, Michael Phelps used visualization during the 2012 London Olympics when he won six medals. He visualized the entire race the night before.

During the Wimbledon Men’s Final, after the champion Novak Djokovic lost the first set, he took a bathroom break to visualize the remainder of the game. He then went on to defeat Roger Federer and win the title. Visualization impacts attention, perception, planning and memory.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

One of the biggest — if not the biggest — productivity killers are distractions. It could be noise, Facebook, your own thoughts, emails or games. But whatever draws you from the task at hand, try to prevent it from sucking your attention. Some people turn off their Internet connection to avoid the compulsion to check emails or Facebook.

Use a Timer

Instead of working for hours on end, set a timer for about 25 minutes to work on a project without stopping. Once the timer goes off, take a five minute break. A timer motivates you to work harder knowing you’ll be able to stop and take a break. This method, known as the Pomodoro Technique, is based on the idea that frequent breaks improve mental agility and help to refresh a person.

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First Image: By Hustvedt “Egg Timer” by Photo credit: Wiki Commons

Featured Image: By Hustvedt (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Chandler Harris

Author: Chandler Harris

Chandler Harris is a veteran writer who has written for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and companies. His writing has appeared in InformationWeek, Entrepreneur, San Jose Magazine, the San Jose Business Journal, the Surfer's Journal, Adventure Sports Journal and much more.

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