Did you know that many C-level executives play computer games at work to “feel more productive”? Today, people are using whatever they can to become (more) productive, and a daily checklist is just one of many great tools.
Now, there is a good way and a bad way to create a daily checklist. One will super boost your productivity, and the other one will be a mind-numbing list of tasks you’ll give up on in two days.
To avoid the latter, you should limit your checklist to the essentials in order to super boost your productivity, and it starts with your morning routine. When creating your checklist, you can use a bullet journal or a simple piece of paper with task lists for your work day.
Starting in the morning and into the rest of your day, try including at least a few of these 13 elements on your daily checklist to move your day forward and stay productive.
1. Sleep for 8 Hours
You need to sleep for 8 hours. There’s just no way around it. There is a plethora of research that says that you need 8 hours of sleep to be productive and cognitively optimal during the day.
But what is even scarier is that there is a ton of research done on the effects lack of sleep brings to people, and the results are devastating.
If you want to be productive, sleep should be the first thing on your daily checklist.
2. Early Physical Activity
This doesn’t have to be an hour-long session in the gym. You can do that if that’s your thing, but simple stretching, a 10-minute walk, or a short 5 to 7 minute exercise routine can be enough to get your body moving and ready for the day ahead.
You just need something to wake up your body and get the blood flow going. One example would be Tony Robbins, who jumps into his pool and swims a couple of laps.
3. Eat Some (Healthy) Food
Food gets energy in your body early in the morning and wakes up your mind in a different way than exercise.
You need food in the morning, and something healthy will offer the best benefits for your mind and body.
Even if you work sitting down for most of the day, you should still plan on including a couple of healthy snacks on your daily checklist. Bring some nuts, a piece of fruit, or some granola to act as a pick-me-up when you’re feeling tired.
4. Do Your Favorite Unproductive Activity
You are a human being and we need fun, unproductive, and lazy time. If you spend 10 to 20 minutes in the morning doing your favorite unproductive activity, you will settle down “the instant gratification monkey” everyone has inside.
Once you’re done with it, you will clear it from your mind and carry on. Some people watch YouTube, some play Minesweeper or BubbleSpinner, but you can do whatever you like. That’s why it’s your favorite unproductive activity and why it should have a small place on your daily checklist.
5. Personal Reflection Time
Meditation is just one thing you can do for your personal reflection time. You can also spend a couple of minutes centering yourself for the upcoming day or writing a page in a journal.
Some people focus on gratitude, but anything you include in personal reflection time is time well spent.
This time can take the form of a prayer, a minute of silence, sitting down in the car and doing nothing, etc.
6. A 10-Second Plan
You already know what the most important thing you have to do today is. If I gave you only 10 seconds right now to plan your day to be productive, that activity would be the only one you wrote down on your daily checklist in those 10 seconds.
That is your plan for today. Do only that for today, and your day will be productive.
7. Get Yourself Into a Working Mindset by Reading
When they get to work, most people first sit down, open their browser, and randomly scroll the internet for half an hour.
If you’re looking to be more productive, you should sit down and open up a book or an article that is related to your field of work. Once you read for a few minutes, your brain will focus on that information, and it will start producing creative ideas and solutions.
Reading is also a great thing to have on your daily checklist for after work when you’re winding down.
8. Remove Distractions
Put your front page on your browser to something which won’t seduce you into procrastinating. Use headphones, even if you don’t listen to music, because your colleagues will know that you mean business when they are on.
Close the door to avoid people walking in at inopportune times. Turn off Wi-Fi on your phone.
Take a look at these tips on How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done and then add it to your daily checklist.
9. When Tired, Rest
Since I’m a writer, taking a nap in the middle of the day to rest is a possibility and almost a daily occurrence for me (sometimes I take a long walk instead).
You will get tired during the day, and when that happens, don’t try to push through it. Simply stop working and go rest.
The problem here is that nobody ever taught us how to rest, and Western culture looks at that as laziness. There is a major difference between the two, but the most important thing when resting is that you 100% rest. Stop working, and do your best to stop thinking of work.
This may mean you listen to music or practice meditating for a few minutes. Do whatever works for you.
Many people find it necessary to schedule downtime as part of their daily checklist. That way, you know when and for how long to rest to make the most of your day.
10. Know When the Day Is Done
Many people feel they lack productivity simply because there is always something more they could be doing. While that’s true, make sure you know what you want to achieve and allow yourself to feel accomplished once you’ve done that.
As part of your daily checklist, add in a moment of recognition for what you’ve managed to achieve during the day.
11. Track Your Day
By tracking your day, you realize what you did and didn’t do for that day. After a couple of days of working on everything from your checklist, the goal becomes to not “break the chain.” This is something attributed to Jerry Seinfeld who, when asked how he became a great comedian, responded:
“I just wrote one joke a day and then tried not to break the chain on my calendar.”
On your daily checklist, make it a point to mark off what you’ve completed.
You may want to make use of these apps to keep track of your day: 24 Best Habit Tracking Apps
12. Reward Yourself
The best thing after a productive day is the reward you get by being productive.
Don’t ignore this thing on your daily checklist. If you’ve done everything from the checklist, give yourself a proper reward. It will make your brain remember the activity as pleasurable, and it will become easier for you to do it.
Learn to celebrate small wins so you’ll stay motivated and keep up the momentum.
13. Change What Isn’t Working
A daily checklist is a tool which you use, so understand that over time, your life, work, job, situation, and position will change. And alongside that, your daily checklist should change as well.
Make it a point to reevaluate your daily checklist each day to make sure it’s serving you in the best way possible. You can also use a point on your daily checklist to reevaluate what isn’t working in certain areas of your life in general.
The Bottom Line
You now have 13 things for your daily checklist that will help you become more productive and spend time on things that matter. Put it somewhere visible where it can look at you every single morning and evening.
If you commit to completing each item every day, eventually, it will bring you massive results. Every journey, no matter how long, always begins the same way—with a single step.
More Productive Habits to Adopt
Featured photo credit: Luisa Brimble via unsplash.com
View more information: https://www.lifehack.org/833077/daily-checklist