5 game changing tips for your most productive day

I bet you are one of these women…

1. You take one look at your to-do list, decide its all too much and end up doing nothing all day – maybe binge watch Grey’s Anatomy because you need to catch up on season 15. That’s productive, right? Maybe you’re planning a vacation for next year that you may or may not take?

2. You run around all day to the point where you are exhausted and feel like you’ve done so much, only to find out that all you did was a bunch of things that didn’t really matter or that didn’t really HAVE to be done right now.

3. You’ve got that ONE THING on your to-do list that’s been hanging over your head, you’ve been wanting to do it or work on it, but something’s blocking you… and you know that until you get that done, you’re going to go to bed stressed every night.

4. You go to work all day, but that’s about the only thing you get done. No fun, no play, no passion work, just work. You go to bed annoyed and maybe a little overwhelmed because you feel like you don’t have enough time and energy for ALL THE THINGS.

There was a point in my life, not too long ago where I was ALL of these women. I had just ditched my corporate 9-5 for life as a full-time online entrepreneur. I no longer had anyone telling me when I had to be where, which tasks I needed to complete. While this was AWESOME, it also made me realize that my time management skills needed some serious work.

After all, the hard truth is that we all have the time and energy to accomplish miraculous things in a given day or a short period of time… we’re just not good at managing them.

It’s taken months of testing and learning all of the different processes, tips, and tricks out there, but here are the 5 things that completely changed the game for me and what I’ve been able to accomplish in a given day.

Since implementing these things, I get more done, I have more fun and have more energy.

So here we go!

1. NO Morning Scrolling

The number one worst thing you can do for your productivity and your mindset is to start scrolling social media the second you wake up. And yet so many of us do it!

Getting on social media first thing puts you in a state of comparison and distraction and will most likely make you feel discouraged in some way, leaving you to feel unmotivated and not excited to hop out of bed and attack your day.

Also, no answering email or text messages. Statistics say that checking your email in the first hour of your day decreases your WEEKLY productivity by 30 per cent. Also, answering email and text messages puts you in a reactive state, giving others what they need from you before you’ve filled your own cup. This is no bueno for setting yourself up for an awesome, feel good, productive day.

I’ve actually started putting my phone on airplane mode overnight and into the morning to avoid distractions of notifications popping up on my screen!

So leave your phone on the night stand for the first hour of your day or at least until your morning routine is done. Which leads me to number 2…

2. Have a Sacred Morning Routine

A lot of the time when we hear the word “morning routine” it tends to freak people out. Like they’re going to have to start getting up at 4 am, working out, making a green smoothie, meditating, journaling, reading a book, listening to a podcast and ALL of the things. You see, there are a lot of great things that can be added to a morning routine but you also have to remember that you can’t implement ALL the things at once.

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to take long.

If you don’t currently have a productive, disciplined morning routine, I suggest starting simple. And since you’re no longer scrolling through your phone for 40 minutes, you have some time to fill! So here are my simple, non-negotiables for my morning:

  • Gratitude: lay in bed while I’m waking up and go through things I’m grateful for in my mind. My husband, my house, my money, my arms & legs, my health, the sale I made yesterday, the new like on my Facebook page,  etc. This makes me smile and puts me in a good mood before my feet hit the floor
  • Drink a big glass of water (I drink Enagic’s Kangen water for the best possible hydration!)
  • Write out my list of ALL the things I need/want to do today – this INCLUDES relaxation time and fun time
  • Roughly prioritize and time block the list – choose 1-3 things I ABSOLUTELY NEED to get done today and start deciding when I’m going to do them in. This keeps you somewhat accountable as you go throughout the day
  • Take a moment to visualize all of the things on my list getting done with ease and flow and with magnificent, best possible outcomes
  • Take a moment to visualize my goals and dreams coming to life – this gets me EXCITED to get up and do all the things because I know they are getting me one step closer to my big goal and life of my dreams

This whole process takes me about 30 minutes, sometimes less. But it is SO freakin’ important.

You MUST get excited about your day and your life.

You must create necessity around the things on your to-do list.

You must remind yourself of your WHY for doing the things you have to do.

3. Optimize Your Sleep

Try to create a consistent schedule of when you are going to go to bed and when you will wake up. Also, the average sleep cycle is 90 minutes. So when you decide on your sleep schedule, do it in a time that is divisible by 90 minutes.

1.5 hours

3 hours

4.5 hours

6 hours

7.5 hours

9 hours

This way, you’re waking up at the end of a sleep cycle. Grogginess often happens when you are woken up in the middle of a sleep cycle. Ever notice how you can feel exhausted after sleeping 10 or 11 hours? It’s probably a sleep cycle disturbance.

Taking control of your sleep patterns will help improve your energy and mental clarity, making you more willing to get things done all day long.

4. Try the Pomodoro Technique

You might have heard of it. It’s a scheduling system that consists of short sprints of sitting down to get work done followed by short breaks. It can help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get things done in short bursts while taking frequent breaks to come up for air and relax. It is also really easy to stick to with the help of a timer!

It looks like this:

  1. Choose a task to be accomplished.
  2. Set the timer for 25 minutes
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings, then put a check on a sheet of paper
  4. Take a short break (about 5 minutes)
  5. Repeat the process 4 times, until you have 4 check marks on your paper
  6. Every 4 Pomodoro (25-minute work sprint) take a longer break (15-30 minutes)

The key here is, even if you’re on a “roll” stop and take the breaks. You can take a drink of water, walk around, stretch, meditate, put the dishes away, take a nap. Just do something to freshen your mind and re-energize BEFORE you get tired, distracted or burnt out.

5: Listen to Binaural Beats

I was surprised by how well this one worked! I listen to binaural beats anytime I need to FOCUS on something or be creative for a longer period of time. I’m actually listening to them as I’m typing this!

Binaural beats are when two different frequencies of sound are played in each ear at the same time. The difference between the two frequencies is actually what we call the binaural beat. And the science (although newly studied) says that like sounds, your brain waves have different frequencies. Lower frequency waves occur when you’re asleep or in a deeply relaxed state. Mid-frequency waves are linked to relaxed focus, low stress, and flow states. Higher-frequency waves are connected with things like focused attention and problem solving and memory recall and awareness.

After listening to a binaural beat track for around seven minutes or so, new studies show that the frequency of your brain waves will start to synchronize with the frequency of the binaural beat. In theory, this means you can enter a different mental state by simply popping on your headphones!

Click here for one of my favorite, free binaural beat audios!

So there you have it, y’all! 5 things that have dramatically increased the level of productivity, joy, satisfaction and peace I feel in any given day!

And please remember to forgive yourself on the days that you are not as productive as you’d like. You are a beautiful work in progress and all that matters is that you get back up and try to do better the next day.

Like Kylie’s page for more tips, tricks and strategies on how to transition from employee to entrepreneur and ultimately take your life back.

This article first appeared on A Girl in Progress.