We all have those days where we wake up and it feels like motivation is on the other side of the world. No matter what we say to ourselves or how we go about the day, there is just no motivation to do the work.
This happens to all of us. The difference between people that experience this lack of motivation is how they set themselves up to have fewer of these days overall. Let’s be real, motivation isn’t something that’s around all the time – it comes and goes. This means that we need to be consistent with our routines, priorities, and our boundaries to get through the days that just feel impossible.
If you don’t have strong routines in your day that are consistent each day, you are already setting yourself up to be less productive. One of the first things to ensuring that you have a more productive workday is having a solid morning routine.
When it comes to morning routines, they will look different for everyone. The key is to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle. For some a morning workout, coffee and a quick journaling session is what they need. For others it’s just not touching their phone for the first hour of the day while they have breakfast and get ready. The point of this routine is to get you waking up, energized and in a place of gratitude before diving into all the notifications from work which can be overwhelming.
Next up is your nighttime routine. Think of it like bookends on an open bookshelf. You don’t want the books to fall over so you add support on either side to help them stand. You need to do the same thing for yourself. Your morning routine is your first bookend, and your nighttime routine is the second. The same rules for a morning routine apply here. They may look different for each person, but the whole point is to go to sleep feeling grateful and prepared for the next day. For some people this includes writing a to do list for the next day and then journaling. For others it’s putting their phone away 1 hour before bed and reading.
It doesn’t matter what your routines look like as long as they help promote positive energy and you are able to stay consistent with them. Having strong, consistent routines will help you prioritize the rest of your day.
A common question during the interview phase of getting a job is “how well do you prioritize during the day?” or they might give you a slew of tasks and ask how you would prioritize them. This question is great because it lets the employer know how you are going to function when things start to pile up and emergencies happen. As annoying as this question might feel, they are on to something.
Whether you work for yourself or another company, being able to prioritize will help you be more productive. This includes things such as breaks to eat, use the washroom, or even for a quick walk to break up the day.
The best way to do this is either the night before in your night routine to ensure that you have your list of to do’s ready and prioritize. Then throughout the day you can shuffle things around as you need to.
When it comes to prioritizing things during the day it all comes down to what’s possible. This means that you aren’t breaking your boundaries just to accommodate something else because as we know there are no emergencies in business.
Adding this into your day is going to be huge for your productivity, especially if you hold yourself accountable and stick with them.
Boundaries help you create space to do what you need to do for yourself. In the work world, this includes getting tasks done, taking time to eat, knowing when to shut your computer off and many more.
One way a boundary can be used is through time blocking. If you find you get distracted easily, setting a specific amount of time to stay focused on a task will help you be more productive. Just remember to take breaks in between your time blocks.
Another important boundary to set and keep is when you start and end work. It’s very easy to work overtime when working from home or as a contractor. At the end of the day this doesn’t serve you or your clients, so make sure to stick to the boundary. You’ll be surprised at how much your productivity increases when you are firm about your start and end times.
Don’t forget that these boundaries also include when you take breaks and boundaries with other people who might be able to interrupt your workflow like friends or family.
By getting your morning and nighttime routines in check you are setting yourself up for a day that is more productive. When you add in priorities and boundaries your productivity will go up even more. The key to having a more productive workday is to stay consistent!