6 Daily Habits of Productive People
We are all allotted 24 hours a day, but some of us spend those hours more efficiently – and joyfully – than others. Here are 6 daily habits to implement into your day to stay present and productive.
1. Get up early.
According to Tom Corley’s survey of 233 self-made millionaires, over 50 percent of successful individuals wake up at least three hours before their work day starts. This not only allows them ample time to practice self-care and plan for the day ahead, but it also allows them to usher in the day with clarity and a calmer disposition. Not a morning person? Start off by waking up at your usual time, and gradually set your alarm back everyday in 20 minute circadian increments. Don’t forget to adjust the time you’re going to bed, too!
2. Dedicate your first hour to self-care.
The first moments after you wake up should be non-negotiable “self-care time”. Ideally this would be a full hour, but if that is not possible, even 10 minutes would make a significant difference. Devote the first moments of your day to focus solely on your physical and mental well-being. This could take the form of meditation, a morning run, reading a book, or even gazing out the window, doing nothing. The point is that you are starting off each day on your terms, doing what you want to do.
3. Set a time slot for social media.
Did you know that it takes the human brain approximately 25 minutes to regain optimal focus after a momentary distraction? Now, multiply that by the number of times you pick up your phone everyday to answer a message or notification. That’s the number of minutes you could be getting more work done. Set a time slot in your daily schedule to check all of your social channels and reply to messages. Turn off your notifications so you won’t be distracted outside of that time frame.
4. Understand the power of “no”.
Though Tina Fey tells us to “say yes and figure it out later”, this logic is better applied to life-changing events like an exciting project or a coveted job opportunity. When it comes to more menial events like covering for a colleague or taking on a client that you’re not entirely sure about, exercise the power of “no”. As creative entrepreneur Beth Kirby tells us, behind every “no” is an infinite number of “yes’s”. Set your own boundaries by limiting your “yes’s” to opportunities that align with your purpose.
5. Do a “brain dump”.
Have you ever tried working on a computer with a maxed out hard drive? It’s sluggish, spazzy, and not a lot of fun to be around. As much as your computer needs an occasional data dump, your brain needs one too. Take some time at the end of each day for a “brain dump” – that could take the form of journaling, exercising, or whatever helps you feel like you’ve let go of the day’s stressors before you go to sleep. This daily “reset” is essential for a healthy state of mind.
6. Get more sleep.
According to the aforementioned research by Corley, 89 percent of self-made millionaires sleep seven or eight hours a night, or even more. In many capitalistic societies, sleep is attributed to lack of work ethic or laziness, but scientific research is slowly changing that narrative. Think of sleep not as an inhibitor or “down time”, but as a necessary performance enhancer, much like your morning cup of coffee.