Want to increase your productivity and effectiveness?
Instead of getting swept into the current “busy-ness” and getting stuck in reactive mode, successful entrepreneurs are strategic with how they structure their day. They realize that success is a result of learning certain disciplines and controlling as many variables as possible.
Implement these strategies into your “Daily Method of Operation” (DMO) and instead of feeling like you are swimming upstream, you’ll set yourself up for success by increasing your productivity and effectiveness.
Here are five simple things to do before you begin your workday that can help you increase your productivity:
1. 30-Minutes Exercise Daily
The benefits to your health and productivity from daily exercise are simply too great to ignore. Whether it’s a morning yoga session, a walk with the dog, a quick run, or a trip to the gym, exercising before work gives you a boost of energy for the day and a dose of the happiness/reward brain chemical dopamine. Morning exercise also eliminates the possibility of flaking out after a long day at work.
Even if you aren’t bright eyed and bushy tailed at the thought of a 6 a.m. jog, you will be after the first 15 minutes or so. You will find that, no different than creating any new behavior habit or pattern, it will not only get easier and easier, exercising daily will eventually become part of your identity and you will crave it.
Invest 20-40 minutes in the beginning of your day and you will more than gain that time back in the form of increased productivity. It’s the best time investment you can make in yourself long-term.
2. Start With The End in Mind
People don’t plan to fail, they simply fail to plan. Every successful entrepreneur maximizes their potential by mapping out their schedule for the day (and week). Doing this first thing in the morning before getting distracted by social media, checking emails, and other people’s wants and needs puts you in the drivers’s seat for the day. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in reactive mode all day, and end up feeling exhausted and unproductive.
It’s also important to be reasonable and define specifically what you need to get done in order of priority. Map out your day and week, blocking out chunks of time to get the important projects done. Once you make your plan, stick with it, even when you’re not feeling it. If your plan was made using your best judgement at the beginning of the day, you have to stick with it and honor it throughout the day. This isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
3. Drink Lots of Water (It Makes You Smarter)
The human body is more than 60 percent water. Blood is 92 percent water, the brain and muscles are 75 percent water, and bones are about 22 percent water. Drinking water increases your cognitive function. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your brain gets all the oxygen it needs. Research shows that drinking eight to ten cups of water per day can improve your levels of cognitive performance by as much as 30%! It also ensures that your body’s electrolyte levels remain high enough to allow your nerves to relay messages to and from the brain in the way they were meant to.
Feeling sluggish? Instead of heading straight to the coffee machine for a refill, chug 8-10 ounces of water first and see what happens. Trouble getting down enough water? Try adding some fresh squeezed lemon.
4. Build Your Brain
Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had four hours to cut down a tree, I would spend 3 hours sharpening the axe.” As a entrepreneur, your brain is your biggest asset, but are you getting the most out of it?
Most people are only able to tap into a tiny fraction of their brainpower. Your ability to tap into the deeper parts of your psyche (where the wisdom lies), is something we can cultivate and learn to do. Scientists have found that meditation is associated with a thicker cerebral cortex and more gray matter — i.e., the parts of the brain linked to memory, attention span, decision making and learning. That said, a year of silent meditation isn’t necessary. One study found people who meditated at least once a week for four years showed increased cortical gyrification, the folding of the cerebral cortex that helps people process information.
5. Just Do It!
There are always aspects of work that are more enjoyable than others. Don’t permit yourself to do the fun tasks until you’ve taken on the arduous ones; the ones that take significant mental effort. Instead of anticipating the unpleasantness, get the tough stuff out of the way first and your day will get progressively easier and easier. By the time your work day is ending, you’re winding down with easier to dos and reactive tasks like emailing and social media management… The side benefit of this is that you will also feel productive. You’ll feel like you had a good day and you got a lot done. That’s a feeling we all enjoy.
Make these 5 things part of your DMO and you will notice a massive increase in your productivity and effectiveness.
You’ll find yourself heading into your evening with a sense of accomplishment and the feeling of lightness that comes with it; your family will love you for it! Then, at the end of the day, reward yourself with something you enjoy (a nice meal, glass of wine, movie, book, family time, etc.).
This info-graphic illustrates the ideal times in a day in which to accomplish certain tasks based on your circadian rhythms.
Put in a disciplinary effort to tune your DMO and you will fly through your days productive!
All my best!
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