Do you often find yourself lamenting at the end of the day over your lack of productivity? Why is it that you feel so stressed out and overworked yet still barely effective? Here is the work schedule many successful people follow, which could help you manage your time better:
1. Early to Rise makes a Man Wealthy and Wise
Successful people wake up early. So if you’re a freelancer and you prefer waking up late and taking advantage of the flexible work hours, you may want to reconsider. Why wake up early? Because while it’s early you have quiet time to yourself to compose yourself and set a concrete goal plan for the day.
When you wake up early, you feel in control of your time; on the other hand, when you wake up late, you feel like you’re part of the Amazing Race – you need to rush to get things done, your emails are all piled up, you think there’s just too little time to get everything done! And this lack of control will break your resolve for the day.
2. Important Work First Thing — With NO Distractions
Close that Facebook, Instagram,
Research shows that 2.5 to 4 hours after waking is when your brain is sharpest and when you’re most disciplined. So don’t waste it! Emails usually require little brainpower so you can put those off for later.
3. Take a Break
The comforting thing to know is that break time is still important. We’re not out to work you to death of course It’s only natural that at one point in the day (usually early afternoon) you will feel yourself slowing down, probably due to all the rice you ate during lunch or just the natural rhythm of things. So go and take a short breather. Look outside the window. Eat a snack or even take a nap. Then review your goals for the day and your progress. This reminds you that you can do this and boosts your confidence and resolve.
4. Start doing the “Dirty Work”
Now’s the time to start answering those emails, attend to meetings, etc. Things that require little energy and creativity.
Caveat: If meetings require a lot of creative thinking, I think it should be set in the morning.
5. Enjoy your evening!
All work and no play makes a very boring Juan and Maria. Take the evening off. Go out with friends. Do something more energetic rather than just wasting away in front of the TV.
But don’t forget to also write down your big goals for the next day!
And please get enough sleep. There’s been a lot of research proving how important sleep is and how grave sleep deprivation can be in the long run.
These aren’t rules set in stone, of course. You have to figure out what works best for you. The bottom line is: set goals, do the more important / creative things when your energy level is high, the less important when you’re sleepy, take a break, and be sure you’re awake during your best hours.
Here’s to more productive days!