How To Start The Day For Productivity

Knock knock. Who's there? A new day. And you have a lot to do. Over my many years of working on side projects, getting through 9-5s and now attempting to build my own business, I've collected quite an arsenal of tactics to employ in the morning to get myself off to the most productive possible start. These tips apply best to days when you have some free time in the AM, so perfect for those of you who like to get things done on weekends or work from home, but there's a lil sumsum for my office job huns too. Do not despair. Most of these tips are quite intuitive, but that's the magic of it. Productivity is accessible. Just give yourself a chance.

Wake Up On Time
Starting off obvious. By this I do not mean 4am or even 9am if that's not your jam. God knows I struggle with waking up more than literally anyone else I know. Just get up at a time you're genuinely happy with. I find that sleeping in when I don't intend to really fucks with my mentality and I start my day feeling like I've already screwed up. Conversely, if I wake up early (or at whatever time I've planned) I feel motivated to keep that momentum up, and also have a bit of wiggle room to chill out. If it's a weekday and you have an office job then waking up on time is a non-negoshe, but even pushing things forward by ten minutes and having time to stop for coffee on your way in will give you a similar boost.

Meditate In Bed
I know Headspace Andy is always like 'sit in a chair' but if I don't get this business done first thing, odds are it's not happening until late afternoon, if at all. Meditation really does make a difference to your overall sense of clarity, and having done it early also means you're starting the day with a box already ticked, plus it gives you a few more minutes before having to actually get up. I must specify that I mean sitting up in bed, though, because if ya horizontal ya fallin back to sleep.

Make The Bed & Tidy
Not the whole house, that's a procrastination tactic and can be covered later in the day. Just tackle the areas you actually need to inhabit, for instance your desk and the surrounding area (if you haven't already done so the night before). I'm also an advocate for making the bed before you do anything else. So little effort, but such a big knock on effect for the rest of the day's productivity. Plus you're less likely to get back in, which is always helpful.

Don't Force A Routine
I'm actually trying to implement a morning routine at the moment, but if you wake up and absolutely can not be bothered going through the motions, let it go and just jump into whatever you have planned for the day. If you feel like you can't be bothered with much of anything, give yourself half an hour to make some tea and listen to a podcast while you wake up. The extra time is worth it to make sure you're actually in a productive mindset afterwards.

Have A Breakfast That Excites You
I'm not really a breakfast person, but on the occasions that I throw together an aesthetically pleasant bowl of yoghurt, blueberries and granola, or perhaps a restaurant-grade smashed avo, it gives me a boost both in energy and smugness that carries me gently through the morning.

Set To Do List The Night Before
This is perhaps the most important factor. Starting the day with clear intentions and cutting out as much decision making as possible will prepare you to launch into your first task A$AP. The more you set up the night before, the less friction you face in the morning.

Go Over Your Goals
Regularly revisiting your goals will centre you and remind you why all the things you're doing are important. Keep a list of your yearly, monthly and weekly goals, and read over them each morning before you begin work. Sometimes I also read through some of my journal notes if I need an extra kick from my past self to get going.

Prioritise Your Tasks
Rank your To Do list using the ABCDE Method, start with task A1 and work through in strict order.
A - Must do, significant positive or negative consequences. A1, A2, A3 if necessary.
B - Should do, minor consequences.
C - Would like to do, no consequences.
D - Delegate
E - Eliminate

Don't Faff Around In Your Workspace
If you must waste time, do it before you sit down at your desk. That space is for productivity only.

Don't Trick Yourself Into Allowing Procrastination Tactics
"I'll just watch this video while I eat breakfast." The video lasts longer than breakfast, and then you will watch another one. "I woke up early, I have time to do this." You sure do, but it will lead to other things for which you do NOT have time. Look for opportunities to start, not excuses to delay.

Get Something Done Before Checking Social Media Or Email
Tbh I will almost always go on my phone before I get out of bed, but once I'm at my desk and ready to work I make a point of keeping myself away from social media until after I've finished my first big task. The 'Forest' app is a fab way of keeping phone time to a minimum, so check that out if you find yourself scrolling reflexively.

Use Social Media To Bookend Your Day
Lin Manuel Miranda starts and ends each day with bookend tweets, and it's an idea I think can be applied in multiple ways. I find it can he helpful sharing a bit about what you're planning to get done in order to hold yourself accountable, and feel connected to other people who are also up & atom being productive. If you need to play real mind games with your shallow self you can also post a picture of your aesthetically pleasing breakfast or zen tea & podcast set up to your IG story as motivation to ensure the rest of your day (and the posts you will subsequently share) measures up to the standards of Go Getting you've publicly set.

Use the Forest app
I am obsessed with this app, and if they ever want to sponsor me I am 1000% down. It grows a tree during the time that you don't use your phone, and if you exit the app before the timer you've set goes off the tree dies and makes your forest look ugly. I've killed two trees in the entire time I've had the app and they still haunt me to this day. Massively helpful if you find yourself mindlessly picking up your phone throughout the day.

Let People Know Not To Bother You
I said what I said.

If you need more help to trick yourself productive, I have a post dedicated to that which you can find here! Also of interest may be How To Set & Achieve Goals, and My Productivity Tracker. If you've got any other productivity-related topics in mind that I should cover, holler at me via twitter or insty. Otherwise, I shall see you back here next week. x0x0