Sourced with thanks from getpocket.com
Creating a routine seems to be critical in getting more work done in a day. A routine helps you be more productive and achieve more which leads to you being more successful at what you do. Whatever that be. From home chores to volunteering work to caregiving to business tasks. The author in the article below takes you through his experiences of building and utilising a good routine. He shares a number of hacks to make it easier for you for you adopt a good routine for you to be more effective overall. Team RetyrSmart
Things to do to be more productive, more effective, more successful
Now, let’s get into some of the things you can do in your daily routine to reach higher mental levels — like more brain power and clarity!
Optimize Your Mind
A successful daily routine helps you achieve laser-like focus from the moment you wake up in the morning to the time you close your eyes and drift off to dreamland at night. Here are some ways to get it.
- Get positive: Start the day with a mantra.
Positive thinking helps manage stress and even improves your health.
“Today is going to be the best day ever!”
I start every single day saying that simple sentence (out loud) as soon as I get out of bed. And yes, I even tell myself this on mornings that have followed nights that were too short or mornings when I wake up feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.
These nine words put me in the right mind-set for the day ahead.
What makes a day good or bad isn’t the events that occur but rather your response to them. Either you run the day or the day runs you.I want to put my mind in a good state right away, because left unchecked it will try to tell me the things that are wrong. Through positive thinking, I can overcome that.
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- Be proactive: Don’t check your email first!
When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately check your email or social-media accounts? If so, you’re starting your day off in a reactive instead of a proactive mode.
The trouble with this approach is it means spending the best part of the day on other people’s priorities.
For instance, if you receive an email asking for work-related documents, you might be compelled to provide them immediately, even though you may have had plans to work on marketing your own business. Or if you open up Facebook and see one of your friends in a crisis, that becomes your focus and potentially keeps you from concentrating on your own issues or concerns.
Start your days focused on you and you will be in a much better state of mind to help others and get more accomplished all day.
- Mentally prepare: Visualize your success.
Some of the world’s greatest athletes use visualization to help prepare themselves mentally to excel in their sport.
Simply close your eyes and imagine yourself excelling and being the best you. Put yourself in situations where you shine, visualizing the best possible outcome. Include as much detail in your visualizations as possible, using all of your senses and making your “training” even more powerful.
The purpose of all of this is to pass command from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind wants to believe what you tell it (good or bad), and it will do whatever it takes to turn those commands into reality.
- Read a book, even if just one page at a time.
Reading books offers many science-based benefits. Reading can boost your intelligence, increase your brainpower (for up to five days, according to research conducted by Emory University), and even strengthen your ability to empathize with other people. Reading has also been found to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by more than double — all this while helping you feel more relaxed at the same time!
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to find the time to read an entire book. I mean, who has hours and hours a day or week to just sit and read? That’s why I commit to reading just one chapter each day of a book of my choice. I’m in the process of reading a couple different books right now, so I just pick up the one that speaks to me the most that day and I sit and read a chapter of it. If I want to read more, I do.
By breaking the big process (reading a whole book!) into something manageable (one chapter) I am able to read about 50 books each year.
- Make yourself accountable: Find a partner or mentor.
I have a mentor and I call him every day. Even if all I do is leave him a message, this one simple task holds me accountable. It also forces me to keep myself (and my mind) moving in a positive direction.
If you don’t currently have a mentor, then think about how you could go about getting one. Or at least find someone you trust who can be your accountability partner, someone to hold you to your word.
Make a list of three people whom you trust and respect. Have a conversation with each of them and discuss exactly what it is that you want to accomplish. After the conversation, decide which of these individuals will serve best as an accountability partner for the specific milestone you are trying to reach.
- Write: Prime yourself for creativity.
Spending time writing every day helps you become a better communicator, improves your ability to recall important information, and enhances your creativity. Write in a diary format and you also have the added benefit of greater self-understanding.
One of the first things I do every morning is write Morning Pages, a practice that clears my mind and helps to clarify what I want out of life. To do your own Morning Pages, simply sit down and write three pages. They can be about anything you want them to be. Just write each and every day.
I also write down 10 ideas. The point of this exercise is to work your brain and get your creative juices flowing. They can be big ideas (how to cure cancer) or small ones (ways get your cat to quit scratching the furniture).
They say that everyone has at least one million-dollar idea in his or her lifetime. You may just find yours on this list!
- Make a daily to-do list.
One great way to be fully prepared for the day ahead is to make a to-do list.
I plan up to six tasks that I want to complete during the day on mine, and the reason this works is twofold.
First, it helps me plan my day in a way that allows me to get the most out of it, versus just performing random tasks and hoping that they move you forward. Second, creating a to-do list keeps me on task. I know exactly what I want to get done and when, which makes it more likely that I’ll do it.
Keep your daily to-do list small, so that it’s manageable and not overwhelming. A great “hack” to make sure you keep your lists simple is using a Post-It Note. The dimensions of a Post-It Note are perfect (typically 3 x 3) because the size constraint will force you to only write down the most important things that you have to do each day.
Plus, when you’re able to cross items off this list, it inspires you to keep going and accomplish even more.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day.
While all of these tips are meant to help you forge ahead, sometimes you just need to step back and give your mind a break.
Taking regular breaks keeps you from getting bored and losing focus, increasing your brain’s function at the same time. It also forces you to re-evaluate what you’re working on, ensuring that you’re going in the right direction.
I’ve found the Pomodoro Technique to be invaluable at helping me keep my energy levels high and “forcing” me to take regular breaks. This revolutionary time management system is deceptively simple to learn, but life-changing when applied correctly. Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:
- Choose a task (just one task at a time)
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Work on your task until the timer rings, then put a checkmark on a tracker
- Take a five-minute break — you just completed your first Pomodoro!
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 three more times, followed by a 15-minute break.
By utilizing this technique, I am now able to get 40 hours of work done in just 16.7 hours, all the while keeping my energy levels more stable and eliminating burnout (for the most part).
Speaking of breaks, while you’re decompressing and giving your mind a chance to switch gears, why not close your eyes and catch some Z’s? According to the National Sleep Foundation a short nap of 20 to 30 minutes can help to improve your mood, alertness, and even performance.
- Break your day into chunks.
Breaking your day into chunks helps you be the best you, as too much time spent doing one thing can cause you to lose focus, and interest. And if you’re working on something you don’t really want to do, it makes it easier because you only have to do it for a short while.
Now, look at your own day, figure out how you can break it into chunks, and determine what you need to do to spend your time doing what you want to do (as much as possible).