maximize productivity

7 Ways Structure Your Day to Maximize Fulfillment and Productivity

1. Begin your day with a goal in mind. Take time to think about your passion and purpose. Write down your goal for the day. On the line below it, think about your major definite purpose. What would you like to accomplish in life if you could do anything? Write that down. These goals may change day to day.

The reasoning behind this practice is that it aligns your subconscious with a pre-set vision. It also helps to organize your actions to align with your purpose and goal.

2. Create a list divided into three sections. The first section represents the “big picture,” or long term goals. Write down steps you need to take to achieve long term goals (a few months to one year). The second section represents daily tasks. These items are (obviously) day-to-day tasks that need to be accomplished. The last column is reserved for anything that doesn’t fit into these two columns. Highlight or star 2-3 items in the first and second column on which you need to focus today.

3. As you go through your day, structure it so that you strategically intersperse “release” time between your “work times.” For instance, squeeze a 30 minute brisk outdoor walk during your lunch break. This will get the blood flowing and set you up with a positive attitude for the remainder of the day.

4. Do the hard things first, or when you are most energized. For instance, I know that I am a morning person; so I schedule my most difficult tasks (the ones that I really don’t want to do, and will not get done if I put them off until the end of the day) in the morning.

5. When you are working, keep your list (step 2) and goals (step 1) close by so you can refer to them as needed. When you are working, work seriously. No distractions. No social media sites open. No emails open. This is because you need to finish your tasks as efficiently as possible. This will free up your time to indulge in short breaks, or “release” times (step 3).

6. ***Make time to connect with people, specifically people who are important to you. Do not get so absorbed in work/productivity/scheduling breaks that you lose contact with the people who matter most. This is the most important step because human connection is essential for fulfillment. Send a thoughtful text; write a thank you letter by hand; have a real conversation with your spouse. Daily bits of extra effort are the glue that holds solid relationships together.

7. At the end of the day, do a quick assessment of what worked and what didn’t work. Do not try to squeeze in a last bit of work right before bed. This will exhaust you and prime your mind to think about work while sleeping (not fun). Review your goals again and practice a relaxation technique (try meditating or deep breathing).

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Connie F. Shih is a personal development writer, powerlifter, model and entrepreneur. She can be found at www.curioses.com or connie@curioses.com.

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  • http://mesandeep.wordpress.com/ Sandeep Khanal

    Here’s the kind of post I love to read!
    Straight Advice and Real life suggestions!
    Thanks for the post, Connie.

    • Connie Shih

      Thanks Sandeep! Glad you liked it!

  • Neurojones @ A Strenuous Life

    Great list! Sometimes I do like to start with easier tasks on my list to get the “snowball” effect going.

    • Connie Shih

      Thanks! Yes, I agree that creating momentum is very helpful. It’s important, I find, to not get carried away with the “easy stuff” and forget all about the most important and difficult tasks at hand.

  • Mohamad

    it’s very useful and helpful article

    • Connie Shih

      Thanks! Glad you found it useful

  • keen

    Thanks. Are they Brian Tracy’s notes?

    • Connie Shih

      No problem! I’ve been heavily influenced by Brian Tracy’s ideas, so yes, there very likely is some overlap.

      • keen

        Let me tell you these notes are excellent and only one who follows them (like me) would know true value. Thanks again for sharing.

  • http://www.eatingdogfood.com/ Scott Torrance

    Great post Connie, can I ask you- do you apply these same principles to your weekends and downtime?

  • http://www.minecraftgames.co/ Minecraft Games

    One day if you can do it like this is very difficult. But it is useful information for us. Try what can be done within a time limit and everything related to achieving the best performance.

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  • Orlando

    Great article to prime my brain right before bed!

    Thanks!

  • Deepak Rajpal

    excellent stuff i will say as it will make my day :) poetic style