Have a Productive Day

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tired of feeling non-productive? Day after day and you feel like all you're doing is spinning your wheels? Follow these steps to get out of that frustrating cycle.

Before Bed
Prepare Lunch.Lay out the clothes you will need for the next day. Prepare a lunch or breakfast waiting to grab out of the fridge. Just look at the scrumptious meal pictured! Tidy up a bit. This step shouldn't take more than 2-3 minutes per room of your house. This is not the time to start a major cleaning project, just pick up the socks and underwear and be done with it. Go to sleep in plenty of time to feel refreshed in the morning.

Before Work/School
Make your bed.A Neat Bed.Pull out anything you need to thaw for dinner (don't forget side dishes). If something needs to be put in the crock pot, now is the time to do it. Make an effort to grab garbage out of the car and throw it away on your way into work. Leave the house early enough to arrive at work a few minutes ahead of time. This will assure you have a bit of time to settle in before your day begins.

At Work/School
Cleaned the Desk.Create or review your to-do list of what has to be done for the day.Prioritize your list by order of importance. Monitor the tasks you engage throughout the day in which you are to be spending time on during the working or schooling day and keep a log of such information to help you identify areas in which you can cut down on time that may be wasted in non-productive persuit either in the workplace or the schoolplace. This can be accomplished quite easily and with little effort with the help of Chess Clocks sitting on, or near to, your work area or desk where you spend most of your time employed. Complete your to-do's, crossing them off as you go. Re-prioritize as needed or as new projects come up. Tidy your desk before you leave. Prepare your work area for the next day.

After Work/School
Relax for a bit, knowing you had a productive day at work.Make supper, if needed. A Neat Table.A Neat Table.Serve and eat dinner. Plan your morning routine. Do this by reviewing your calendar to see what's coming up the next day and by making a to-do list as suggested in the tips. Tuck in anyone that needs to be tucked in. Start over with step 1 under "Before Bed" to assure you have another productive day tomorrow.

Here's a tip to prioritize lists: red or "A" equals "Must be done today", yellow or "B" is "Must get done some time this week", green or "C" is "Must get done eventually." or "Not due this week, but it still must be done." Then leave the rest uncolored or unlettered for stuff like "Maybes" and "Eventually some time but not in the near future." By prioritizing your day you can finish the urgent tasks first. This will allow you to handle those "emergency" situations that will inevitably pop up without having them throw your entire schedule off. While working on your to-do list, don't forget to add things you want to do as well as what you must do. Include things that will help you obtain goals as well.Clipping out articles and pictures of magazines is a great way to come up with ideas on how to do things not only more effectively, but to have more fun as well. A simple 3 ring binder with dividers and page protectors can help keep all of these ideas in one place.

Put statements of productive conditions on small index cards (desk is clean and neat, bed is made, clothes are set up for tomorrow, bills are current, laundry is done, next meal is organized, dishes are done). Keep the cards handy and shuffled. Each day go through the condition cards, placing them into two piles: "done" and "need to be done." Complete the need to be done cards. Getting all the cards in the done pile is quite reinforcing. After a while, you will learn these conditions nearly automatically. Make sure to remain flexible in your plans. Stay calm and collected. You mustn't feel rushed.Take some time for yourself to just do something you enjoy. Call a friend and talk, breathe deeply and simply, or take a nature walk. Enjoy these moments that may boost up your energy and motivation levels.


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