1. Use your high energy time for high value tasks
Over the course of the day, your energy level will change. If you wake up slowly and hit your stride later in the day, then it makes sense to schedule important meetings and activities later in the day. How do you determine your high energy time? The best approach is to simply experiment over a few days – attempt to do high value tasks at different times of the day. Before long, you will determine what times suit you best.
2. Do “brain dead” tasks during slow periods
Everyone has boring tasks to work through to keep their work and lives in order. You might have to install updates on your computer once a week to keep all of your programs working smoothly. These tasks often fall into the “maintenance” category – ignore them at your own risk. You can also use this time to reduce clutter around the office or at home – a few minutes of organization effort each day go a long way to maintaining order.
3. Read from a book every day to expand your knowledge
Seeking new ideas, knowledge and inspiration from books is one of the most important actions for your daily routine. You can use daily reading time to build technical knowledge (e.g. read a “For Dummies” book about a computer program you want to learn). You could also use this time to refresh yourself by reading fiction: author Tim Ferriss recommends, “Read fiction that engages the imagination and demands present-state attention” as part of your evening routine.”
4. Write your to do list for the day
A Weekly Review habit is a key habit that many successful people practice each week. However, a weekly review is not enough to maintain focus on the results that matter to you. A great approach is to answer the question posed by the 5 Minute Journal: “What would make today great?” (and keep the answer to a maximum of three tasks).
5. Observe “Amish hour” (no technology for 1 hour before bed)
Technology is one of the great blessings of our age. We can get work done faster than before, learn new ideas from people around the world and much more. However, too much technology use makes it difficult to get to sleep. The light from TVs, computers and other devices signals your mind that sleep is still hours away.
For the best results, practice the Amish hour habit developed by Neville Medhora – no technology for an hour before bed. You can use that time to read, reflect on your time and go through your evening routine.
6. Write down one idea on how you could have made the day better.
Reflecting on your day to find lessons and improvement opportunities is one of the best productivity habits. If you are in sales, you could reflect on your presentations to customers. You could also reflect on ways to communicate better. Becoming better each day is much easier than attempting to make dramatic improvements once a month (or once a year).