2021/04/16

Tips For Structuring Your Day and Being More Productive

This is a paid guest post.

We’ve all been there; you plan out your day the night before and list off a thousand things you want to get done, but when the day arrives, you tick off little to nothing on your list and spend the evening feeling annoyed and disheartened. 

If this happens to you frequently, you’re not alone. Whilst there will inevitably be days when things don’t get done due to unforeseen circumstances (work, children, illness), there will still be plenty of days where you can smash it, and here’s how. 

Start Slow

No one likes waking up and immediately getting on it. Give yourself time to wake up and ease yourself into your day. How you do that is up to you. It might be with a morning run, a warm bath, an hour of yoga or simply watching the news. Whatever it is that gets your brain ticking, start your day doing it.

Make sure you also reserve time for breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and will fuel both your mind and your body for the day ahead. 

Quality or Quantity

Do you have 20 small things on your list and one big thing? If so, you might find it easier to do little tasks first so you can get through more of your list, but it really depends on what you have to do and if there’s a specific time it has be done. For example, if you’re religious and have specific prayer times, you might choose to do jobs you can complete in good time before your prayer window and then save a bigger task until afterwards so you’re not interrupted.  

This depends on how pressing certain issues are, though. If you have a big task for work that must be completed by the end of the day, you should prioritise this. 

Work in Blocks

Sometimes, it’s easier to work in blocks and do things in sections, so it might help you to structure your day and do things in one or two hour segments. Set alarms to stick to your structure and make sure you don’t overrun. This will allow you to chip away at lots of things in one day and take the pressure off other days. 

Timing

Studies have shown that your brain is at its most productive and tuned-in between around 8:30am and midday. The early afternoon isn’t so productive, so if you have a job to do that requires a lot of brain power, do it first thing in the morning. Not only will you fly through it at a more productive pace, you will also be more concise and do it to a higher standard. 

If you’re looking to smash out a tricky task, the morning is your best bet. So, if you have mundane tasks that don’t require too much brain power, save them for the latter part of the day. 

Minimise Micro-Decisions

We spend a lot of time thinking about things and making decisions each day – but sometimes, we take too long. Whether it’s taking an extra five minutes to figure out what to wear in the morning or spending 20 minutes in lunch time traffic after failing to prepare lunch the night before, only to waste another 10 minutes in the store choosing what to buy and checking out. 

All of these seemingly small things can eat into your precious time and minimise productivity, so taking time to minimise them is key. End your night by laying out your outfit for the following day and make it a habit to prepare your lunch the night before. This will save you time and reduce stress in the morning and provide you with a much smoother routine and more structure. 

Take a Rest

In the same you structure your jobs, you also need to structure a rest, too. Make sure you’re reserving at least one hour per day to have lunch and relax. This is an essential part of your day and is key to avoiding burnout. 

End Lightly

When the end of the day draws in, make sure you have a relaxed, quiet end. Whether you want to celebrate with a bath and a glass of wine, or by doing a workout and reading a book before bed, make sure you do something to wind your body down and come to a nice, gentle end. It’s ideal to have a specific bed time because this alone will give you the structure you need to rest up properly for the next day. Try and avoid blue light from mobile phones – this will disrupt your sleep and could throw off the day ahead which is less than ideal. 

Hopefully, these tips will help you to lead a more structured and productive lifestyle that leaves you feeling accomplished and ready to tackle anything. 



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