Have you ever paid attention to what makes a day fantastic and fulfilling for you, and what makes another the exact opposite?
No two days are the same, and there are often unforeseen circumstances, but there are key things that, when absent, can suck the productivity out of your day:
- A good night’s sleep: Sleep deprivation lowers your chances of starting your day right, and if you start off wrong, getting your day back on track can be hard. Those 7-8 hours experts say adults need to function optimally and stay healthy? Get them.
- A helpful morning routine: This isn’t just about having a routine, but having one that actually helps. If your routine involves waking up to read tweets or watch TV, you can’t expect the same productivity that comes with waking up to exercise and getting important work or reading done. Routines are hard for me, but I find that not having morning rituals, a routine that helps me optimize my time and boost my productivity, reduces the overall quality of my day. Not convinced that morning habits matter? Look at the lives of successful people.
- Spiritual food: There’s a Sara Groves song that goes, “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed, the wrong side of the room, the wrong side of the world. Can’t put my finger on the mood. It’s not melancholy, anger or the blues. I love my husband, my house, my job. Couldn’t be any better, and really what else is there? Then I realize I’m forgetting God, and that’s the root of all my misery. Lord, first of all, how is it between you and me?” Need I say more?
- Time for fun. All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. What do you love to do? What relaxes you and makes you happy? Whether it’s going dancing, or curling up with a book, or baking, or hosting a party/hanging out with friends, you need to make time for those activities. For me, because my work as a writer and an editor involves a lot of non-leisure reading, reading for fun nourishes me and feeds my soul. So does listening to music. So does “edutaining”. When I have days with zero time for fun, it’s sheer punishment for me and my productivity starts to decline with each passing day.
- A mission for each day: Every day you wake up without being clear on that one thing you have to accomplish for the day, you set yourself up for failure. The time to give the day its most important task is before you go to bed the previous day. This way, you can wake up and hit the ground running. Not having a mission for each day is one thing that can sabotage your day all by itself. When you make this mistake in addition to the others, you will have to live with the frustrating feeling of wasting yourself.
Yes, that’s what it is.
“We say we waste time but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.” ~ Alice Bloch