5 Ways To Make Your Tomorrows More Productive, Today

Do you walk into work feeling swamped before you even sit down at your desk? Do you not know where to start? Work gets busy and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s tempting to just end the day at 6PM and think about everything else tomorrow. But with these five tips, you can increase your productivity and reduce your stress. By taking just a little time out of the end of your work day, you can set yourself up for success.

1. Review Your Calendar

Checking your calendar a few hours before you intend to head out mitigates the possibility of forgetting about a commitment that requires prep work. If your prep is a large commitment (use your judgment on this one), start on it today. Otherwise, make a note to prep for your meetings first thing in the morning.

2. Review Your To-Do List

With a few hours left in the work day, triage your to-dos. What can you realistically finish today? Then prioritize. What NEEDS to be done tomorrow, this week, etc. Are their non-essential items that you can be delegated or removed completely?

3. Update Tomorrow’s To-Do List.

At the end of the day, when you’ve finished everything you need to, take two minutes to review tomorrow’s to-do list. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do tasks need to be completed in a certain order?
  • What items do you absolutely need to finish tomorrow? (Rank these high priority.)
  • What items can you tackle later in the week? (Rank these low priority.)
  • Do certain items need to be completed by a certain time of day, and have you made note of this (instead of relying on your memory)?

4. Make as Many Decisions About Tomorrow as Possible

Choose what you’ll wear and eat, along with any anything else you need to decide tomorrow the night before. This will free up your brain and help preserve your willpower for the more consequential decisions tomorrow. With more brain capacity and better decision making, you’ll see your productivity and energy rise.

5. Sleep 8 Hours

You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. There’s no better productivity booster than sleep. When you get enough sleep, you can better focus on your plan for the day because you’ll have more self-control. Not only will you get more of the right things done, you’ll also notice your interactions with other people to be easier going. This is hard for those of you who do a lot. My advice is to see adequate sleep as one of your most important tasks to accomplish every day. Make it a priority.

What Motivates You?

You get up and go to work everyday, why?  Unless you’re the beneficiary of a hefty trust fund, paying the bills, (car, life, health insurance, the mortgage, food bill, college tuition) and so own tend to be great motivators.  But what’s your dream.  What is the one thing causes you to pause and say, some day.  Some day I will ____________.

Why do we need the dream, because some days paying the mortgage just isn’t enough.  It’s the end of a long day at the end of a very long week.  You’ve had 6 sales and 2 returns, no reason to panic but somewhat demoralizing.  So far today one secretary called out sick, the copier broke, and the repair that is to be delivered in 30 minutes is nowhere to be found.

What is the solution?  Take 5 minutes.  Go into your office and lock the door.  Take out a piece of paper and write down the following.

5 Things I Want That Aren’t Rational

Make sure the lists include the following.

  1. A range of costs (free is allowed).
  2. Encompass several time periods (tomorrow, in six months, in five years)
  3. Permanent to fleeting (think exotic vacation versus vacation home)

Make this about what you want, not what you think you should want.  You are making those lists for those days, sometimes weeks and every so often those months that we all have.  The ones that threaten to force you to bring out the for sale sign, pack it in, move to the Cayman Islands and try your hand at selling seashells by the side of the road.  Yes that’s on my list and if you’re curious it’s currently at number 3 with a bullet.