1. List Three Main Goals
On the macro and the micro. You should have goals for your daily to-do list, as well as goals for the year. I usually have three main priorities for the day (I have a specific writing day each week where I do no promotional work) but also it’s important that you list the not-so-important tasks, and file it on a document so that if you have a spare minute, when in the dentist waiting room or on transport, you can easily finish those smaller tasks.
Hear me out, I was that kid who was always adverse to working out. Even in Physical Education classes, I would ALWAYS find a way to get out of doing sports (I was on my period a little more than normal) but as I got older and wasn’t trying to avoid the schoolyard bullies on the rugby field, I learnt that exercise actually does give you an endorphin rush. I’m under the (perhaps naive) belief, that everyone can find at least one sport they get a load of adrenaline from. Whether that is running, skating, tennis, gymnastics, cardio, yoga – whatever it is, find a routine that you can stick to, and never miss the days you need to exercise! If you do it first thing in the morning, you will be fuelled with a ton of energy for the rest of the day.
3. Track your Time
Find out where you are losing and spending most of your time. If a task is one that you are avoiding, bite the bullet, and do it first. That way you don’t spend the rest of the day procrastinating over it or trying to avoid it completely. At some point the task will have to be done, so your best bet is to get it out of the way as early as possible and then it’s done! And you can reward yourself with a pat on the back, or a healthy dessert option. Find a scheduling habit that works for you: whether it’s working by an alarm that goes off on your phone, Pomodoro technique – find what works for you.
4. Get Enough Sleep
I’m here to say fuck you to every entrepreneur that tells you to live off of 4 hours of sleep, or that you need to sacrifice sleep in order to achieve their level of success, or more importantly your idea of success. It’s something that Arianna Huffington preaches all the time, that sleep is one of the most important factors to the human body. You work on a circadian rhythm, so make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep so that you can work at your optimum when you are are awake. It’s your choice: you can either work at your optimum when you’re awake, or work at less than optimum on less sleep. If you work your ass off when you’re awake there’s no need to lose sleep.
5. Clean Up your Room
Tidy living space, tidy mind. Wherever it is that you work, have a clean up. And always put everything back where you took it from to avoid more mess at the end of the work day. If you have a system where everything has a place, then you won’t be wasting precious minutes every day looking for what you need.
6. Check your Emails Twice Per day
And only twice. Unless you have an ongoing conversation with someone on email, you should only really need to check your email twice per day. I check mine in the afternoon, that way you’re not bogged down all morning replying to hundreds of messages and deleting crappy spam emails. The other time is in the evening, just so that any other new emails can be easily deleted, stored, or replied to before checking off for the day. If you prefer to go through emails in the morning, make sure you don’t work on it for more than an hour.
7. Have a Healthy Meal Plan
Have you ever mentally (or physically) tracked how you eat when you feel different emotions? Most probably, when you are feeling really optimistic and good about life in general you will be gravitating more towards healthier options like fruits and greenery. When you are feeling any negative emotions, you most likely opt for the junk food – which is doing you no favours. Make sure that you have a solid meal plan in place so that whenever your emotions aren’t in line, you will still have your energy levels up with the help of nutritious food. Also, just stop buying so much junk food. If you start the day of healthy, you are much more likely to keep that momentum going throughout the day. Also, DRINK MORE WATER! How many times do you have to read that before you do?
No but seriously, your body on average is 60% water. Read that again: YOUR BODY IS 60% WATER. Treat it as it deserves for all it does for you.
8. Find your Distractions, and Kill Them (with no kindness)
Where do you spend most of your unproductive time? Watching those click-bait YouTube videos that youtube keeps harassing you with until you can’t help but have to watch them? Is it that television show you’re currently binge watching? Is it spending too much time on your phone when you should be working? Is it going to the pub when you should be making a small sacrifice for a greater good? Is it social media?
Find whatever is distracting you and KNOW that it is a distraction so you can eradicate as soon as possible. Have a browser extension that blocks certain websites you are prone to trawling through, have a sign on your office door that says’s DO NOT DISTURB. Whatever the distraction is, find how to kill it. Maybe allocate a certain leisure time for such activities. Just don’t watch TV before sleep as it will ruin your sleep quality. I usually like to watch quality YouTuber’s in my 10-minute breaks between larger tasks, but with television, you will end up just watching other successful people instead of working towards that same level of success yourself.
9. Be Mindful of How you Start and End the Day
There are two times in a day that really set you up for how productive you are going to be. The first is when you wake up (hopefully in the morning as you’re now a productive person who does not sleep in until 3 pm) and the mindset you set for yourself. The hour you wake up is made solely for you. Meditate, yoga, exercise, read an uplifting book, visualise – do whatever it is that makes you feel good and motivated for the day ahead. At the end of your day, prepare yourself for the next day. Find a morning and night routine that is perfect for you and really boosts your energy.
10. Get Rid of Negative People in your Life
The more ambitious, optimistic and go-getters you surround yourself with, the more likely they are to challenge and encourage you. If you are surrounded by bad energy friendships and people who are not looking for you to succeed, here are some friends you’re probably familiar with: playing video games all day, gossiping, watching television all day. You don’t have to ruthlessly cut them out of your life, just spend more time with people who have the same aims as you and are willing to work hard for it. It really is the best motivation.