Over the years, I’ve perfected the art of ensuring the happenings of productive days. I used to be someone who would put things off until the last minute, but it really just made me completely overwhelmed and anxious all of the time. These habits I’ve made have truly made days I want to get things done so much easier and run so much more smoothly. I hope you take these things into consideration the next time you want to have a productive day too!
The Night Before
1. Tidy your room
Making sure your room is spick and span is one of the most important things I would suggest doing to ensure you wake up in the morning to get things done. Waking up to a messy room isn’t encouraging, and it tends to make you want to crawl up in your sheets and forget all the plans you had for the day, and we don’t want that to happen! Pick up your sprawled clothes on the floor, and put all your knick-knacks away. I promise you that freeing your room of clutter will help free your mind of it too, leaving a clean slate for the following morning.
2. Cue up a playlist or podcast
Having a playlist or podcast you’ve been wanting to listen to ready to rock the next day is such a great way to stay motivated to continue with this productive day. If you have something to look forward to listen to while you’re getting things done, it is less likely you will cancel your productive day plans and binge watch Netflix. Find yourself an interesting podcast or a fun playlist for your productive day, and get your phone set up to play it the next morning.
3. Set your alarm clock
Before your head hits the pillow and you call it a night, make sure you have an alarm set for the next morning. Set it for no later than 8am. In order to have a productive day, you must have a good amount of the day to actually get things done, which means you need to wake up relatively early. If you can wake up earlier than this, be my guest! Set your alarm clock as early as you can while still maintaining a decent night’s sleep. Again, no later than 8am though!
4. Put your phone down
Whenever I decide to scroll Instagram or go on Pinterest in bed, I regret it in the morning; it truly is a black hole, and it is very hard to just put your phone down after a few minutes. Give your phone (and your eyes) a rest. After you set your alarm, put your phone down and go to sleep. Being on your phone at night really does make it more difficult to go to sleep, and because you want to wake up in the morning and be productive, get into bed sans phone for the night.
The Morning Of
5. Make your bed
If I was to really ensure you perfect just one of these habits, I would really hone in on the bed-making. It may seem counterproductive to make your bed since you’re spending time doing something that is just going to be undone at the end of the day, but I promise you it will change your day. Just like the tidying of your room the night before, making your bed in the morning clears your room and your mind. And guess what? You will have already checked something off your list first thing in the morning if you do this. Making my bed in the morning always makes me feel refreshed and ready to start my day. Make sure you do this the minute you get out of bed though. Leaving the room to get ready and start doing other things will make you either forget or not want to complete this task later. Do it right when you stumble out of bed!
6. Eat breakfast
In order to have a productive day, you need to eat a hearty meal. I can already hear the sighs and eye rolls. This is true though! I used to be one of those people who wasn’t hungry in the morning, and I would just wait to eat until mid-morning or even lunch time, but once I started making sure I had a decent breakfast, I felt more energized and readier to go the rest of the day. A cup of coffee isn’t enough. There are so many yummy, easy breakfasts you can prepare in just a few minutes – find a meal that works for you and stick to it for a while! Eating some form of protein will help make your productive day even more productive.
7. Have a list
I am the queen of list-making. I have lists for everything – things I need to get done in a day, things I need to get done in a week, Christmas presents I need to get for my family, groceries, things I have to get done for school, etc. – the list truly goes on. Lists help you get things in order, so make a list for the things you need to get done that day, and prioritize the things on that list. The errands you have to get done first should go on the top, and then go down the list and decide what is most important to you.
8. Make a goal
What is something fun or relaxing you’re going to do after your productive day to reward yourself? I know not everything great someone does is deserving of an award, but sometimes it’s nice to have something to look forward to in order to get through something that might be a tad bit not-so-fun. Whether it’s watching an episode of a show, grabbing myself a yummy smoothie, or hanging out with a friend, I always have something that I can look forward to doing after I complete all the things I need to get done that day.
9. Tell a friend or spouse your plans for the day
Sharing your list of things you have to get done for the day with someone else is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes when I have a lot I have to get done for school, I will tell my husband, and he will check in during the day with me! Telling someone else will sometimes make what you have to do more “real.” If I have a paper I have to start writing, sometimes I will keep putting it off until the last minute unless I make it known to someone else that I need to get started that day. If you need a motivator, then tell someone! Being productive is hard sometimes, so have someone help you out!
10. Get going
Don’t sit and scroll social media on your phone. Maybe that’s the thing you are going to look forward to doing after your productive day! Finish your breakfast, finish making your checklist for the day, and begin. That first step into your day is the hardest. Once you get going, it will be so much easier!