I have some bad news for all of you struggling with productivity, building habits, and getting a good routine down– there is no straightforward easy solution. No magic formula with one size fits all. It requires work, answering some tough questions, reflection, trial and error, and getting to know yourself and being honest.
Everyone has their own issues, hang-ups, working styles and sleep schedules, just think about it for a second. Hence why it is impossible to deliver a magic formula. Now it’s not something you can’t figure out, but you are the only one that can discover your magic formula. And it takes work.
In the last three-weeks I’ve shared some tools I think can help you along your journey in Building A Better Day, and they are very straight forward planning tools. Today’s post, works off of those prior posts (1,2, 3) because how you utilize planning and scheduling will greatly depend on your work style and what works best for you.
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your day and work style:
Do you like quiet or noise?
What times do you feel motivated? What times do you feel less motivated?
What distracts you?
What gets you excited and energized?
What do you feel like you struggle with most day to day?
Try This Exercise:
- Write out what your ideal work day would look and feel like.
- Track your day: Grab this post to get started!
- At the end of the day reflect:
- How did your day go?
- Did you stick to your schedule? If not why?
- What was your biggest frustrations/roadblocks?
- How did your day compare to your ideal work day?
- What could you do to try to make your day more productive and ideal?
- Do this for a week and see if you identify any patterns. Did you find the more mindful you were about your day the less distracted and more productive you felt?
Just thinking about how you spent your time can be very powerful in gaining more control of your day. Of course this is just a part of finding what works best for you, but it is a good start.
Approach how you structure your day for productivity like a science experiment. Try out new things and see what works. If you are struggling with productivity and focus during your day, doing the same thing day after day is not going to fix it. Actively start working on it. Start brainstorming new ways to structure your day and approach your tasks, below are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Wake up earlier
- Wake up later
- Take walks
- Work in a coffee shop or library
- Work outside
- Clean off your desk
- Turn up the heat
- Turn down the heat
- Put your dog/kid in daycare
- Work with music
- Work in quiet
- Time tasks
- Break tasks into time blocks
- Set start and end times
- Try working for shorter periods
Before trying these, think about yourself first. You may already know you can’t work when you get up earlier or you simply can’t get to bed early enough to accommodate an earlier rising. However, if you just haven’t tried because in college you missed all your 8am classes, it might be time to see if you can wake up earlier 🙂 Be open, Be honest, Be You, And Work On It.
Next Monday I’m sharing lessons I learned from Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. This book really opened my eyes about how I approach my day, my business, and my life. If you are struggling with building habits I recommend this book. She addresses ways in which different people need different motivations to stay on track. Which plays an important role in keeping to a schedule and reaching your goals in business and life.
Have you struggled with staying on task, finding motivation, or being productive? What have you found worked for you? Do you currently struggle? What have you tried to fix it?
Want some extra help pinpointing your main productivity struggle + get some customized tips? Take this quiz!