We each get just 24 hours in a day. Yet the successful will almost always get more done in those 24 hours than most other people. How do they do it? They’ve cultivated the right habits.
These five habits will help you get more done in a day, every day.
Habit #1: Meditate
Meditating increases the size of your pre-frontal cortex. It trains your brain to notice when it’s distracted, then bring it back to focus. It reduces the impact that stress has on productivity and helps minimize ADD tendencies. Just 15 minutes of meditation in the morning can increase your effectiveness throughout the whole day.
Habit #2: Eat That Frog
Do the most difficult task of the day at the beginning of the day, rather than putting it off till the end. Eating that frog refers to doing the most difficult task first. Once that task is done, you’ll get to tackle the rest of your day with a sense of momentum and ease.
Habit #3: Limit Email Checking
Set four times throughout the day that you’ll check email. Check email no more than those four times. Checking email four times a day is more than enough for staying in contact with others. This cuts down on email checking time and reduces a big distraction. Constant email checking is just a more modern way of distracting yourself.
Habit #4: Don’t Store Tasks in Your Head
Storing tasks in your mind is a terrible idea. For one, it’s not reliable. If you store 10 tasks in your head, you’ll probably forget at least one or two. Since you can’t remember all your tasks, your mind will always be wondering if there’s a task you’re forgetting. It’s a very stressful system to use.
Find and implement a reliable system for tracking your tasks. Write everything down and work from that list. Asana is a popular tool, as is Omnifocus.
Habit #5: The Morning Ritual
The first hour of your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Successful people plan the beginning of their day meticulously. Some work out, some meditate, some journal. John F. Kenney famously read a book every day before breakfast.
Creating a morning ritual helps you start each day with a bang. By the time you get to work, you’ll be on fire and ready to go. Your morning ritual should include at least a 15 minute workout, as well as a healthy meal. For example, a green smoothie with kale and fruits. Avoid coffee, as it causes spikes and crashes in energy levels.
These five habits together can give your productivity and effectiveness a serious boost.