While many of us spend the majority of our daytime hours working, more and more people (like us!) love what they do.
But even the happiest employees or entrepreneurs have days that drag; days where it feels like nothing gets done and nothing goes right. Having that sort of day every now and again is normal, but it doesn’t have to become the norm!
Today we’re sharing 5 simple steps you can take to virtually guarantee a successful workday.
Prep the Night Before
Set aside time every evening to plan and prepare for your workday. Make a list of the different tasks you want to complete, write down any meetings or appointments so they don’t slip your mind, and schedule breaks throughout the day so you can clear your head and step away from your computer (see Step # 4 below!). You might also want to set out your outfit, pack your lunch, and set the coffee maker to start brewing as your alarm goes off. Do whatever you can the night before work to make the start of your next day as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Have a Morning Routine
There’s a reason you want your morning to go smoothly—it’s the anchor for your whole day! You know that old saying about waking up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, it holds some merit: if you start your day happy, well-rested, and productive, it’s likely that the rest of your day will follow suit. Unfortunately, the same is true if you start your day rushed, stressed, and swimming in emails. So create and maintain a morning routine that helps you start your day off right! You might begin with meditation, reading a few pages of a good book, or some light yoga. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as it helps you start your day right—and you do it consistently. The first hours (or even minutes) of your day set the tone for the rest. Make sure you use them wisely!
Batch Your Work
Batching your work—that is, scheduling chunks of time within which you do like-minded work—is a productivity boon! Think about the different tasks you do every day or every week: writing content, answering emails, meeting with colleagues or clients, brainstorming new ideas, and so on. Now batch those tasks together on certain days or at certain times of day. By spending one or two hours focused only on writing content or only on answering email, your brain won’t be forced to “switch” between different activities and you’ll get a lot more done, in a lot less time! Promise!
Go For a Walk
Make sure you’re not spending all day stuck behind a computer or under the harsh glare of fluorescent lights either. Get up and walk around the office—or even better, go for a walk outside! Just do whatever you need to do to create space in your day where you’re not working and your brain can recharge. We know it sounds counterintuitive to step away from work to have a successful work day, but it’s important to give your mind and body a break every now and then. Plan time to stand up and stretch or go for a walk around the block. Get some fresh air and disconnect from your computer or your colleagues for a few moments. It will be a nice boost for your brain!
Check Email Intentionally
Ah, email. While it’s seemingly inescapable these days, you can (and should) find ways to check your email with intention. Don’t let it run your life! (Trust us—we have to work at taking our own advice every single day.) First of all, try not to start your day in your inbox. When you do, you’ll find that you’re quickly pulled into putting out other people’s fires, instead of focusing on what you need to do to start your day off right. Then, make sure you’re only checking email at specific times—that you have designated—throughout the day. Don’t just leave your inbox (and all those pesky notifications!) open in the background. When it’s time to check your email, focus all of your attention there. When it’s time to focus on other things, shut that email down.
Which of these steps will you incorporate into your workweek? Got any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!