In this post: Discover how to be productive in the morning with this productive day routine to get more done and stay on track!
We assume that productivity means hustle and bustle; moving faster, doing more. I would like to propose a different way to understand productivity with my daily morning routine example. One that is fueled with meaning, intention, and, yes, getting things done… But things that are worth doing because they give meaning to your work and life! Keep reading for more on how to make your days more productive along with how to prioritize tasks to get what matters done.
We constantly live in the tension of knowing that our worth is not determined by what we produce but also that being a girl boss (and yes, if you’re reading this you are a girl boss) comes with some hefty (and awesome!) responsibilities.
How to have a productive day:
Here’s how I set up my days in a productive way to do things that mean something, focus on my personal growth, and are loving to myself and to those around me. I find purpose in doing these rituals in the morning, but they could easily be done before bed to unwind before sleep. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, these things can be added to your daily routine to help set yourself up for success.
- Connect with your intention
- The Top Three (pick out three things you can actually do today)
- Map out your day
I have a daily planner that makes this so easy. It has a Top Three section, a longer to do section, a day by the hour section, a note section, and a gratitude section. Gems, get yo self a planner that works this hard for you because it is life changing. Here’s also a few other options:
3 steps to a routine that promotes productivity:
Connect with your intention
This is probably the most important thing I do with my morning time to get grounded and boost daily productivity. I crave meaning in my daily moments. Meaning doesn’t just happen. You create it. Everything I do in a day should connect back to the purposeful intention I set.
Connecting moments to intention help me a lot in my mundane tasks. For example, I hate grocery shopping. There are too many people, too many choices, too much pressure. However, I love the people in my life. And I love taking care of them. Loving people well is a core value for me. If I start understanding grocery shopping as a way to love other people well (my intention) by feeding them well, grocery shopping becomes a little less miserable.
My intention this morning was light. Things have been so heavy and today I let myself set those things down because carrying them today was too hard. I knew I would be seeing my best friend today. For me, she is sunshine incarnate. So, I sat down the heavy things this morning. And I laughed with my best friend at lunch. And today I was lighter than yesterday.
The Top Three
Pick the three things that need to be done the most today. Just three. Make these things realistic, measurable, and accomplishable in a day.
My top three today are writing this blog post, making edits to two graphics for Instagram, and writing one page of my paper for one of my classes. I had already drafted part of this post, so I knew I could finish the rest of it today. These things also connect to my intention for today. Writing, graphic design, and starting a paper make me feel lighter. If I didn’t do those things today, they would weigh on me until they were accomplished. These three things also connect back with some of the goals I set out for myself for November in my previous post.
Of course, there are little tasks that I’ve done today as well. Tidying my living space, checking my email, etc. But these are the top three that will make me purposefully productive today.
Gems, please know that sometimes my top three for a day are resting, reading, and talking on the phone with a friend. It is okay if your top three are about self-care, recharging, and going slowly. We all need those days.
As you look at the to-dos that are taking up your head and heart space, I would encourage you to write them all done. And then start organizing them into priorities. Which three can be done today? Which ones best serve the intention you set for today?
Map out your day
Now that you have your top three things to accomplish today, it’s time to figure out when you’re going to do them. Making a to-do list without attaching a time to do it means the to-dos will not get done. If you don’t assign the to-do with a time that you will do it, often that task will not get accomplished.
First, I go to the hour by hour section of my planner and start writing down the appointments/meetings I have for the day (including travel time). Because these are time-specific, I will plan the rest of my day around them. I also write in things like “lunch”, because I love to eat and it will take up time. Next, I look at my top three and figure out how long each will take. Then I plug them in where there’s time in my schedule, based on how long each task will take.
Gems, how often has a day actually gone exactly according to plan? Yeah, never.
Often, I have to balance this schedule with the ability to be flexible. Things come up, people need loving (I made a rule that if a friend calls and I can pick up, I will), and sometimes the car has a flat tire and fixing that becomes the new plan. Give yourself permission to adjust your tasks, your schedule, and your life. Because life happens. And that’s okay, too.
My journey to understanding that more is not better has been hard. Finally, I admitted that I don’t want to “do it all”, but instead want to do what is meaningful. Yet, I relapse all the time, finding myself exhausted and breathless, with a lot of “things” done and with my tank on empty. Part of having productive days is forgiving yourself when you do too much or not enough. Be gentle with yourself.
Gems, how do you set yourself up for success? Are there any other steps you follow in your productive day routine?