Productivity in work and life is not about what you do but how you do it. Having a routine of doing things is excellent for self-management. It gives your brain a sense of direction, helps you plan your day better, and adds more positive things to look forward to daily. A routine life looks monotonous, but once you start practicing it, you'll understand why all successful leaders have sworn by it for centuries.
But first, what is a routine?
Every action we repeat daily is a routine. Everything that we consciously do weekly or monthly is also a routine. A lot's been said about maintaining a healthy morning routine to have a productive day. But practically, you can also have small productivity routines scattered around the day to maximize the benefits. Having a set routine of certain activities across the day puts your calendar into perspective. This string of habits steers you forward while freeing up energy for other crucial tasks. It also calms down anxiety stemming from uncertainty. Let us see how you can effectively optimize your routine to boost productivity.
Productivity Routine: For Morning
Most people want to know how to be productive every day, but we forget it all starts in the morning. Setting an effective morning routine can help you stay motivated throughout the day. It brings some certainty to your day and instills mental peace.
If you want to start a productive morning routine, here are a few healthy habits you can pick up and add to your daily routine:
Maintain sleep hygiene
No matter how tempting it is to sleep in on a lazy day, try to wake up at the same time every day. Don’t keep your phone around; preferably, use a physical alarm clock. This practice builds a critical habit of waking up on time, making the bed, and then continuing your day instead of glancing at the notification pile on your phone.
Your mind is like a blank slate immediately after you wake up. Your thoughts don't start pouring in, and it's the best mental space to meditate in. Start with 5-10 minutes of guided meditation sessions and slowly increase the time as you imbibe morning meditation practice as a habit.
Once your body and mind are pumped up with the stillness of meditation, energize them further with exercising. Whether going to the gym or doing yoga at home, exert yourself enough to prepare for the day. If you exercise in the evening, taking a short walk around your block in the morning can also be healthy. It relieves stress and makes you mentally prepared to tackle the rest of the day.
Have a good breakfast
You must have heard it a million times, but we'll repeat (it's that important): Breakfast is an important meal to kickstart your day right. Add a plateful of nutritious meals to your productive morning routine and reap their health benefits.
Productivity Routine: Into the Workday
To be productive daily, you must channel your morning energy into the workday. While commuting to work, make it a habit to recite affirmations. They can completely transform your outlook on life. The positivity gets ingrained in your subconscious mind, developing your personality from within.
Once you're at your desk, there are many positive habits to imbibe for a productive workday, like:
Check your calendar and to-do list
The first step to getting started is knowing what awaits you throughout the day. So check your calendar for any critical meetings and schedules. You can choose a modern-day calendar like Loopin to manage your workday and stay on top of your day. Loopin also has in-built note-taking and task-scheduling features to keep you up-to-date and organized.
Practice time blocking
Divide your to-do list into blocks of time and set realistic targets. Time blocking is a great productivity tool that can help you prioritize tasks carefully and concentrate on one task at a time. You can also batch similar work together and divide your time accordingly.
Keep your workstation decluttered
A clean workstation reflects an organized mind, while a messy workplace can be distracting. So keep your table as well as your desktop decluttered. Having cleanliness around can boost your productivity and reduce major decluttering later at once.
Socialize to stay on top of your game
While engrossed in your day-to-day tasks, remember to interact and socialize. Having interesting conversations in the workplace can lighten your mood and create an approachable aura around you.
Schedule short breaks
Scheduling short breaks directly in your calendar can ensure you stay focused when you work. It also makes a smooth shift from one task to the other and lets you clear your head. In these breaks, breathe deeply and relax before you move to the next checkpoint of your to-do list.
Productivity Routine: For Evening
You can design your workplace productivity drill as necessary, but a constant evening routine will again set the pace for the following day.
Some essential practices to improve your overall productivity are:
Make a to-do list for the next day
Go back to your master scheduling tool, Loopin, and create a to-do list for the next day. This can be your pilot list of the morning, and you can add more tasks to it accordingly. Utilize this time to batch tasks and sort out your schedule, keeping your mental and physical health in mind.
Using Loopin, you can block time on your calendar from the to-do list by simply dragging and dropping tasks to the relevant time slots.
Read and journal
Irrespective of whether you write, take up journaling as a daily habit. As a report by WAC Clearinghouse establishes, journal writing works because the act of writing generates ideas, observations, and emotions. You can implement this by building a daily journaling habit.
- Make a list for your future self. Use your journal as a brain dump.
- Put in everything you want to be hidden from the world but out of your system.
- Follow this writing and dumping exercise by reading a book from your favorite genre to help you relax.
- Disconnect and do something you love
There should be a time in your day when you disconnect from the social world and turn off all your devices. This includes your TV time or gaming time too. Practice activities you love, far from a digital screen. Such activities include cooking, dancing, painting, gardening, or even listening to podcasts on a loop. If you’re not returning to a digital screen frequently, your eyes will have time to relax and tune in afresh.
Go to bed at the same time
Like the morning routine, going to bed at the same time every day is also crucial. This practice trains your mind when to log off and relax despite having a hectic workday. Once you get into the practice of sleeping at, say, 10 pm, your brain will automatically hint at resting when the clock strikes 10 pm. Such a set routine calms anxiety and secures your mental health.
Summing Up: Productivity Routines For An Efficient Workday
All good habits offer small benefits that consistently compound over time. If you think some habits are not helping, examine your routine and prioritize vital tasks. Customize your morning, workday, and evening routines, and never forget to add some "me time" for self-care.
You can track your habits by simply making daily notes on Loopin. Assigning power routines their permanent place on your calendar can greatly amplify your productivity and output. You can also jot down some ideas for the future that you may want to incorporate into your life. This way, you can comprehensively design your unique productivity routine to ensure your physical, mental, and professional well-being.