Often, we complain that there’s not enough time in a day for all the things we want to do, or need to do. “Too much to do, too little time,” is something we say and hear all too frequently.
Well, we need to change that.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. If others can make so much more out of theirs, why can’t you? Maybe it’s not for the lack of trying. Perhaps, managing your time is just something you haven’t quite mastered yet. Our time is and has always been, something we have control over. It is something we have the power to make.
Making the most out of your 24 hours doesn’t just start at midnight on a Monday. To be productive the following day, you have to start the evening before, at the very least.
Most of us view Sundays as lazy, stay-in days. To have a genuinely productive Monday, we need to start viewing Sundays as prep-days instead. No, it doesn’t have to take time away from your relaxation, but if you take just a few minutes or more, I promise your Monday’s would be more pleasant.
In the evening, you can start to think about your week ahead. Think about everything – what are you going to do at work, what to eat, what problems might you face, and if you’re doing any social gatherings. If you’re the type who packs their lunch, take the time to go grocery shopping early and maybe even do proper meal prep, so you don’t have to get up even earlier to do it.
Of course, the last thing to make sure of so that you’d have a better, more productive Monday is to sleep earlier. Everyone requires different amounts of sleep a night, but do bear in mind that the recommended amount of sleep you should get at night is between 7 to 9 hours.
Monday onwards - let the week begin!
If you’re not already a morning person, work on becoming one. You don’t have to wake up earlier all at once. You can gradually work your way to getting up earlier by setting your alarm 5 to 10 minutes before every day until you’ve reached the timing you were working towards, be it an hour or two earlier than what you were previously used to. Before you know it, you’ll be waking up at the same time every morning naturally.
Have a wholesome, nutritious breakfast. If you think that making breakfast in the morning takes up way too much time, prepare overnight oats the night before. You can also make a power smoothie filled with fruits and leafy greens. Not only will it taste great, but it’s also packed with nutrients and won’t take up a lot of your time in the morning. As you sip your smoothie, mentally prepare yourself for what you’ve got to do today.
Set your goals.
Since you’re already up earlier, go for a morning workout. All you need is an extra 20 to 30 minutes in the morning. Not only will you get that exercise out of the way to make time for after-work activities, but morning workouts will also leave you more alive and invigorated, giving you more of a push to tackle the day ahead.
Getting up earlier means being able to get to work ahead of time. Those extra 10 minutes will make a lot more difference than you think. Take that time to settle in, complete a couple of tasks, answer one or two emails before you get sucked into the day’s meetings and appointments.
Don’t have an office playlist? Now’s the time to create one. Music isn’t just for workouts or chilling out; they help with productivity at work too. Music can also make time pass quicker if you’re doing uninspiring tasks. Here are some examples of different types of playlists to help you get started.
They say multi-tasking is a skill everyone should have. To be truly productive, however, you should work on one thing at a time. Sometimes, multi-tasking is just another excuse for procrastination. You work on one thing, and then you move on without finishing it to say you’re working on a few things at once. More often than not, it takes you a lot more time to complete each task. Start working on just one thing at a time. Don’t stress yourself out by having multiple jobs in front of you. Working on one thing and finishing it before moving on to the next task will result in more to show at the end of the day than eight or so unfinished ones.
Get up and take a walk around the office every now and then. Stretch your legs, declutter your mind. If you’re able to, take your work someplace else other than your desk, even for a short while. Switching up your surroundings will give you more inspirations. Are you drinking enough water? When you don’t drink enough water, you get dehydrated. According to Mayo Clinic, even just mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired.
If you’re unable to get up and switch it up, try doing some stretches at your desk. Just take a couple of minutes to stretch, recharge, and destress. If you need some examples of what to do, try these yoga poses you can do right in your chair.
Try not to stay in the office too late. Let the idea of leaving on time be your drive to be more productive during the day. Before you go, remember to tidy up your desk. Having a neat and organized workspace to come to every morning will make you feel more positive, and boost your motivation to be productive for the day.
After work is the time to meet up with your friends, spend time with your family, or have your well-deserved me-time. Do at least one thing that makes you happy every day. Your daily routine doesn’t have to revolve around work. Strive to plan your day with little bursts of happiness to keep you going.
When you’ve completed with everything you have planned for the day, find the time to wind down. It’s been a busy day, and your mind is undoubtedly all wired up, one way or another. Now’s the time to unplug and disconnect. Turn off your laptop, put your phone away, and turn out the lights early. The blue light produced by our screens and artificial lights have the power to inhibit melatonin production, which you need to sleep. By turning off all your blue light-emitting sources earlier, you allow your body to wind down and relax so that you can have a better night’s sleep.
Again, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, and it is wholly up to us to decide what we do with those 24 hours, and what we want to achieve with it. Making up excuses will benefit no one, especially yourself. How we choose to spend our time, no matter how minuscule the changes might be, has the power to snowball into gratifying results. Set a routine, and stick to it; you’ll find that you can accomplish so much more when you put your mind into it.