I am not a naturally productive person. I am going to assume since you are reading this that you are not naturally productive either. I work hard to put systems in place that set me up for success so I can accomplish everything I need to do and everything I want to do each day, week, month, and year. If you are looking for a way to keep yourself motivated, here are five things you must do to stay productive all day long.
Each of these recommendations takes discipline, but it is worth the end result. Do you struggle to finish everything on your to-do list each day? Do you feel overwhelmed by all that is pulling at you from a thousand different directions? If you want to thrive rather than survive and live your life with purpose and intention, today is the day to take control of your time. No one can tell you how to spend your time besides you, so be sure to spend it wisely.
Decide to have a good day the moment you wake up in the morning. Begin your day by implementing these five techniques, and repeat them day after day until they become a habit.
1 // HAVE QUIET TIME
The term “self-care” is a big buzzword these days, and for good reason. People, moms especially, are pulled in many different directions and they often neglect to care for themselves in the process of taking care of everyone else.
After I had kids, I realized how important it is to squeeze in quiet time each day to help me remain centered and grounded throughout the day. The most effective way for me to accomplish this is by waking up before the kids wake up. Now that my kids are old enough to sleep through the night and I am able to get a full night of sleep myself, I try to make it a point to wake up early to read my Bible and plan my day.
While I am not perfect at executing this every single day, I notice a difference in my attitude on the days I wake up early to have my quiet time versus the days that I do not. If you are not the Bible-reading type, I encourage you to at least wake up early to enjoy the stillness of the morning before your kids wake up.
For you that might look like reading a book, studying the Bible, sitting still to pray, or enjoying a cup of coffee with your spouse.
2 // MAKE YOUR BED
It seems simple, but making my bed in the morning helps to set the tone for how productive I will be for the remainder of the day. When I walk into my room and see a made bed, it signals to my brain that the time for rest is over and the time for productivity has begun. It is hard for me to focus on other tasks when I am surrounded by a mess. Making the bed gives me that sense of accomplishment that I need to tackle the other items on my to-do list.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McCraven.
This was the Navy Seal’s advice to graduates during a commencement speech given at his alma mater.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
Sound advice, if you ask me.
3 // GET DRESSED
Like making the bed, the simple act of getting dressed encourages me to approach my day with energy and enthusiasm. If you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, this is especially important.
Getting dressed ensures that you are ready to run any last minute errands that pop up throughout the day. Putting on something that makes you feel good about yourself boosts your confidence and improves your mood. When I start my day in pajamas, I am prone to laziness.
Waking up before my kids and getting dressed before the day starts makes it easier for me to tackle my to-do list and stay productive all day long.
4 // EAT BREAKFAST
I am not the type of person who likes to eat a huge breakfast first thing in the morning, but I recently realized how important it is to fuel my body for the day ahead.
If I don’t make time to eat a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning, I do one of two things. I either wait too long to eat or I make an unhealthy food choice in order to eat quickly or on-the-go so as not to take time away from things that are more pressing. If I don’t have to cook, eating something small like a tablespoon of peanut butter and half of a banana keeps me full until it is time for a mid-morning snack.
Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast improves your concentration and performance, gives you a more well-balanced diet and increases strength and endurance. I like to make sure I include a good source of fat and protein in my breakfast, such as eggs or peanut butter. This gives me energy and keeps me feeling full longer.
5 // HYDRATE
How many of you out there think you are drinking enough water? I thought I was until a body composition test at the gym showed I was dehydrated. I do not drink soda or juice, so this was quite surprising to me; however, when I took an honest look at how much water I was actually drinking I realized it was not near enough.
For one week, I began drinking 16 ounces of water before my first cup of coffee. I found that this helped my body to feel more awake and alert on its own, without the assistance of coffee. Drinking my coffee later in the morning also eliminated my need to have more than one cup during the day, which made room for more water.
To make sure you are getting enough water, I suggest using a water bottle that allows you to keep track of how many ounces you are drinking. Do not refill the bottle until you have finished what is in it and aim to drink at least 64 ounces per day – possibly more if you exercise.
STAY PRODUCTIVE ALL DAY LONG
If you find yourself struggling to stay productive all day long, try making your bed, getting dressed, eating a healthy breakfast, drinking some water, and sneaking in some quiet time before you start your day.
Then come back and let me know how your attitude changes and your productivity skyrockets. I would love to hear from you in the comments below!