Work Smarter, Not Harder
Productivity is crucial in accomplishing goals and making the most out of life. Time is our most valuable commodity, yet there just never seems to be enough of it. The following techniques will skyrocket your productivity, allowing you to get more accomplished, in less time. We’ve heard it before, but ACTING is the most important step to getting anything done.
1. Create Rituals
“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.” – Tony Robbins
Strong habits are the foundation of success. By implementing rituals, you are creating a goal-oriented mindset that allows for a smooth start to the day ahead. Momentum will carry this energy with you as the day unfolds.
I love to plan out my mornings in my Day Designer Agenda, to help sort my thoughts, reset my priorities, and also keep for reference or reflection.
A great way to implement new rituals into your morning is by holding yourself accountable with a habit tracker. There are apps for this or you can mark in an agenda or calendar a box to check daily as they have been completed. Science has proven that it takes 21 days to create a habit. I encourage you to join me on implementing the following healthy habits for 21 days, using the hashtag #21miraclemornings on social media.
2. The Miracle Morning
“An Empowering Morning Ritual is when you take charge of the most important part of the day, which is first thing in the morning, and proactively spend it in ways that make you and your quality of life better!” – Stefan Pylarinos
The best guideline I have found for creating a ritual is from Hal Elrod’s best-selling book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed To Transform Your Life…. The first seven steps to a productive day all happen before 8 AM. The objective is to work each of these habits into a routine, all of which are outlined in this post. I’ve included suggested durations for each exercise, adding up to one hour. One hour of your day can change your whole life. Sounds worth it to me (and the activities are enjoyable)!
3. Wake Up An Hour Earlier Each Day
By waking up an hour earlier, you will have newfound time in which you can accomplish The Miracle Morning. Countless studies have shown that the benefits are many, for early risers. Forbes Magazine reports that “Those who identified themselves as ‘morning people’ earned a full point higher on their GPAs than those who were ‘night owls'”. In addition to improved performance, early risers have reported easier commutes in the early hours, finding more time for exercise, getting a better night’s sleep, and so forth.
The Business Insider reports that “In a poll of 20 executives cited by Vanderkam, 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m. Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read, and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog. The bottom line: Productive mornings start with early wake-up calls.”
4. Read (10 Minutes)
Reading turns on the creative part of your brain, while also exposing you to new knowledge! A few of my favorite books right now are The Rough Guide To Mindfulness, The Path of the Yoga Sutras: A Practical Guide to the Core of Yoga, and The Tree Of Yoga.
5. Exercise (20 Minutes)
My go-to is yoga, of course!
TMM recommends working out right at home, performing 2-3 bodyweight exercises. I personally love starting with my yoga home practice to warm up and clear my mind. I also love going to a local fitness class, as I thrive off of connection and am motivated by the group atmosphere. Instead of focusing on which specific exercises to do, it is more important to just get it done. Whatever works for you, preferably something you enjoy!
A Few More Ideas To Get You Moving!
Getting outside is a great start to the morning! Enjoy a morning run, walk, bike, rollerblade, or swim, if accessible!
Short on time and resources? A few great bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere with no equipment are good old-fashioned push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and jumping jacks.
6. Affirmations (10 Minutes)
I am a huge fan of affirmations, as I also practice the Law of Attraction (leave in the comments if you’d like a separate post on the Law of Attraction). The book recommends reading affirmations out loud to yourself in front of a mirror like this absolutely adorable little cutie! This is a great place to start! If running short on time, I personally like to listen to guided affirmations on Youtube with headphones on, while I am brushing my teeth and getting ready for the day.
7. Silence (10 Minutes)
The Miracle Morning suggests either meditation, just sitting or taking a cool shower for this portion of your morning routine. I recommend trying your hand at meditating. A great way to meditate is to sit comfortably with a straight spine and become mindful of your breath, focusing on each inhale and exhale. While it can be extremely different to calm the “monkey mind” here, guided meditations are an excellent alternative to spark a new meditation practice. There are countless apps, videos, and podcasts that you can listen to, for free!
8. Visualize (5 Minutes)
Complete your visualization in a specific spot. If you have a vision board, this is a perfect place! If not, close your eyes and visualize yourself moving throughout your day. Picture working on your tasks, completing projects, and how you feel after accomplishing a great day of work!
9. Write (5 Minutes)
Free write, fill in a journal page, jot down a diary entry, or scribble your thoughts down on a piece of paper. If you can’t think what to journal about, write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Journaling is a great way to declutter the mind and spark creativity.
10.The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a life-changing time management tool. This time-saving technique utilizes a kitchen timer, which is set to 25 minutes. For the 25 minutes that the timer is running, you only focus on the one project or task that you have outlined to fill that time slot. Each Pomodoro (25 minutes of focused work) is followed by a 5-minute break. After completing 4 Pomodoros, a break of 25-30 minutes is taken.
Key Objectives To Keep In Mind When Using The Pomodoro Technique
- Eliminate any internal and external distractions that threaten to take your attention away from the task at hand
- I have found it especially helpful to turn my phone on silent, turn off all notifications, and wear noise-canceling headphones to tune out distracting background noises
- Assess how many (25 minute) “Pomodoros” each task will take and set a timetable to fit your schedule
- Spend a few minutes for recap and review during each Pomodoro
Let me know if you have tried any of these techniques and how they worked for you! What other techniques have you found helpful in improving your productivity? I hope you have an amazing, wonderful, beautiful, happy, productive, day!