9 Steps To Start A Productive Morning
Getting things done can feel like an impossible task sometimes, especially when you work from home. You spend all your work day answering emails and phone calls or finishing pending tasks.
Suddenly it’s midday, you’re still wearing pajamas and you see you’ve hardly accomplished anything. Being your own boss has its perks. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be disciplined, so it’s a good idea to establish productivity habits.
If you spend your weekends working to meet your deadlines, maybe it’s time to learn new ways to increase your productivity. You’ll have more free time to be with your family, practice a new instrument or catch up on your favorite TV shows.
Here are a few tips that can help you to organize your morning to maximize the amount of work you get done.
1. Set the tone for your workspace
It’s hard to work when you have a cluttered office. It makes you feel disorganized and your mind is all over the place. Avoid cleaning your office in the morning because you will lose time. If your office isn’t organized, go to a coffeeshop. Once you’re back in the afternoon you can deal with the messy office and have a better start the next day.
Have a dedicate space for your work, it doesn’t matter if it’s a little desk in the corner of your living room. Whatever you do, avoid working in your bedroom because that’s where you sleep.
Try to make your desk as creative as possible. That way you’ll really want to work. I realized I’m more motivated when I see cool workspaces or I go to my coffee shop or garden. It might be dumb but it makes me feel more creative and productive.
2. Plan everything the day before
It’s easy to waste time with meaningless tasks when you haven’t planned the day before. I usually lost time deciding which clothes I should wear in the morning.
Also it’s easy to skip breakfast when you open the fridge and don’t find anything healthy to eat, or you have bread but you’re out of ham. You have cereal but you run out of milk. You can get tired of finding out what to eat, so you just sip your cup of coffee and start working.
That’s not a good way to start your morning because you won’t have full energy to work, you won’t be focused and you’ll lose momentum in the middle of your work when you feel your stomach empty.
Take a few minutes every night to plan your breakfast. That way when you wake up you won’t lose time doing this and you’ll be more focused on your work in the morning.
Speaking about planning, it’s the same thing with your work schedule. Don’t start working without some sort of direction because at the end of the day you’ll realize you spent an entire work day working on tasks you thought were important, but you skipped the more meaningful ones.
3. Wake up early
This is easily said. I know it can be hard to do. One way to wake up early is to program your coffee pot to wake you up with the smell of fresh coffee.
Or you could try using a smartwatch to help you rise early in the morning. Remember to have a good night sleep, otherwise you’ll be sleeping in the morning and it doesn’t matter how early you wake up, you won’t be productive.
4. Have a schedule
Just because you work from home and don’t have to commute doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shower and get dressed in the morning. Wear something different from pajamas. It doesn’t have to be a tie and a suit.
You could wear jeans and a t-shirt. Or whatever you would feel comfortable wearing if you were out of the house. Make your bed and leave your room, eat the breakfast you planned the day before to get in the mood for work.
5. Get out of the house
Take a ten minutes walk out of the house. Think about the things you want to accomplish for the day and remember your long-term goals.
Where do you see yourself in a few years? And how is what you do today going to help you get there?
6. Focus on your most enjoyable task first
Now get back to the office and start with one task. Begin working on a task you enjoy.
Once you start working on something you love, you’re more likely to feel productive afterwards and jump to a bigger job.
7. Work on one big project next
You’re probably in a good mood now because you initiated working on a project you like. Now it’s time to accomplish the bigger task of the day.
That way if something happens after, at least you finished the most important to-do point for today.
8. Eliminate distractions
I like working with music. However, I noticed I get distracted with the lyrics of my favorite songs.
I drum in the desk and I get lost in my project. Music, TV shows, your pet or even kids walking around the house can be a huge distraction. If it’s impossible to eliminate those distractions, go to a library or a coffeeshop.
In the case of the music, I started listening music without lyrics to improve my concentration.
Email is also a real source of distractions. We think we accomplish something by answering them but the truth is it’s a time sucker.
If you have a bad time avoiding email, leave your cellphone in your bedroom and create a work user on your computer to focus on your projects and have a separate account to check emails.
You could even put a filter on your web browser to stop you from watching youtube videos or checking facebook. You can do that from your personal account.
9. Finish your worst task in the afternoon
The best way to start your morning is knowing you dealt with the worst task the day before.
You’ll begin your day eager to work. After midday, work on your worst task. As you already accomplished a lot of things in the morning, you’ll feel more motivated to finish this and the fact that you will start the next morning without that task will inspire you to do it too.
What do you do to keep your morning productive? We’d like to know your work routine!
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