Plan Ahead

When you look up anything related to increase in productivity and getting more done, it won’t take you long to find articles emphasizing many different ways of increasing productivity.

Plan your day before you start your day.

Overall productivity can drastically increase if you plan your day right before going to bed the day before. This comes down to a couple of reasons. You will not only not be busy but rather productive, you’ll also get more done in less time and experience more flow.

There is no single advice to give that will drastically change the way you work. It is the combination of multiple small adjustments that lead to an overall boost. Everyone keeps looking for “hacks” to solve the issue of getting disturbed and losing focus. Truth is there is no shortcut. Ironically, if we start looking for tips on productivity, it makes us feel being productive while all we do is waste valuable time.

The key is to implement several habits for short and long periods of time. There isn’t one way that fits us all. You must give yourself a basic framework for your day while keeping enough flexibility in mind. Adding something to your routine that is actually of much value usually requires many iterations and adjustments. There are a few main aspects that you should keep in mind when planning ahead.

The first hour or so of your day shapes the rest of it. If you stay in bed for an hour, playing on your phone and doing basically nothing, you will have a much harder time getting into focused mode. If the first hour is spent working on something you have put your prioritized focus on, it will set the tone for the day and create a momentum which is much easier to maintain throughout the day.

Planning your day the night before allows you to immediately get into focused mode. You don’t have to think about what you actually want to do.

Actually implement

Speaking for myself, I am nowhere near a perfect routine. But I have definitely seen an increase in productivity and overall satisfaction. Every evening I go through my to-do list, prioritize, shift and archive if necessary. Sometimes when I get that one moment where I can deep dive into a topic in the evening I allow myself to take notes or sketch some ideas to later pick up during the next day.

As well as that, I keep the phone in airplane mode until it’s time to leave for work to remove distractions. I no longer catch up on all missed messages from the night before, todays news and whats trending on Reddit before after waking up. I’ve shifted most of it to the evening.

One great resource I have discovered during my research is “Learning How to Learn” by the University of California San Diego. Its main focus is something else, although it does touch the area from time to time.

What are your secret productivity tips? Let me know.