Personalize Your Productivity
Whenever I read the morning practices of famously successful people, I feel tired. Many of them wake at an ungodly hour to get a jump-start on their day. When I tried this I was quite productive for a few hours, until I became so tired that it negated my morning productivity. What I learned is that my productivity has to fit me like a glove. I offer my daily habits in that spirit.
As an entrepreneur who works from home, I’m free to set my own timetable, or even work as the mood strikes, but over the years, I’ve found it most productive to make a regular schedule and follow it as best I can. What follows is my ideal day, a schedule that I aim for rather than follow unfailingly.
Personalize and Prioritize
I like to begin work by 9 am. This gives me time for my morning routines, such as meditation, chi gong, feeding the birds, dealing with household tasks, etc. Rather than set an alarm to get up in time for this. I set a bedtime and wake naturally. This allows me to get the sleep I need in order to be more productive.
First thing at the computer, I set my timer for half an hour. This is when I take a quick look at my inbox, answer short critical emails, and delete and sort others. Then I begin the day’s prioritized tasks.
Start Your Day Over After Lunch
Some days I break for lunch, others I eat in front of the computer. Some health experts say that when we eat, we should only eat or eat and converse, but I find that when I eat at the computer, I eat more slowly, rather than finish my lunch quickly in order to get back to work. What I always do when possible is take half an hour after lunch to lie down. I generally don’t fall asleep, but as a reward for the morning’s work, I read non-work related articles, or a chapter in a novel.
When my mid-day break is over, I begin my day anew with a cup of tea and another 30 minutes of email before diving back into work.
Don’t Burn Your Candle at Both Ends
When I used to work until I could see my productivity dropping, (maybe until eight or nine PM) I tended to get burned out and start later and later in the morning. Once I set a quitting time of five or six PM, I found that I work harder and more efficiently to get my work done within that time period. After work, I make sure to take time for something rewarding, often getting back into my novel, watching a favorite program or just hanging out with friends or family.
At the end of the day, I review what I’ve accomplished and set my goals and priorities for the following day. If tomorrow’s first task is something creative, like writing a blog post, I spend five minutes working on it, jotting down ideas and thinking it through. This gives my subconscious something to play with as I sleep.
If you struggle with procrastination, check out my course for more tips and tricks to Take Back Your Life: Get on the Path to Productivity.
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