A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info
If you want to have productive days, you may be in need of some changes in your everyday routine. Unfortunately, our productivity doesn't start at the push of a button, but this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to reach it! You need to plan your goals, establish a strategy, and stick to it. Here’s how you can do it:
It's true that the productivity levels will always benefit from good time management, but it’ll get an even bigger boost when you know which part of your day is most optimal for working on the most challenging and creative tasks. Sometimes, we’re more productive and other times we’re in the mood to do nothing. Luckily, there is a way to recognize when you are most likely to be at your peak of productivity and optimize it.
Humans have an internal 24-hour "clock". That's why we usually sleep, wake up, eat, or rest at the same time every day. This is why people are commonly divided between morning-people or night-owls, depending on the time of the day when they’re the most likely to be focused on working or studying.
Likewise, the time of concentration varies from person to person. If you notice that you can stay focused for 60-minute spells, use this to your advantage: work for 55 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. The beginning of each period is the time when the brain has the most energy and is most concentrated. After that, the energy is slowly depleted. At the end of each period, you can continue working, but you won’t be as effective. Remember that your brain needs some downtime!
Once you know when your most productive time of the day is, you should schedule your routine in a way that you organize your hours in an efficient way. For this purpose, you can follow these easy recommendations:
Plan the night before
There are some tasks that need to be done on the next day and others for which you can wait a longer period of time. For example, picking something from the laundry is better done ASAP, but buying a present for your friend can be done later if you came up with the idea earlier. As it’s always better not to leave things behind, make a to-do-list with all you’d like to do on the next day. Your list should include at least three items to achieve. Another idea is to prepare your following day’s outfit, so you don’t lose time on deciding what to wear.
Create a morning routine
The way you start your day will determine the rest of it. Some people prefer to do some exercises before breakfast, others practice mindfulness to clear their minds, and others just prefer to read something new. Find the best way to energize your mind and body and you’ll be more concentrated when you start to work or study afterward.
During the lockdown, many people had to stay at home and study remotely or do home office. At home, it’s more difficult to get concentrated, as distractions appear every time. If this is your case, you need to take some measures to avoid them. In the first place, try to settle a place to work, preferentially not in your bedroom. Then, determine your working hours and let the rest of your family know that you’re not available during this period of time. Finally, disconnect your phone and forget about scrolling down on social networks during your working time.
Respect your breaks
Your schedule should include some short breaks from 15 minutes and a lunch break. Don’t skip them, because they’ll help your mind to rest and start again later, “reloaded”. During these precious moments of the day, you can something that you find relaxing, such as walking your dog, meditating, or reading.
Here’s an example of a productive day
7:00 a.m.: Wake up, do some stretching exercises for 15 minutes. Have a healthy breakfast.
8:00 a.m.: Sit in front of the computer and concentrate on your project for 90 minutes.
9:30 a.m.: Time for a break: walk around, walk your dog, have a coffee.
10:00 a.m.: Another productive cycle begins. Get down to work!
11:30 a.m.: Instead of stopping, you can take care of more automatic jobs that don’t require your full attention or great concentration
12:30 p.m.: Have lunch. Watch some TV, scroll down on Instagram.
01.00 p.m.: Continue with your work.
02:30 p.m: Take a break: pick a snack, have a coffee.
4.00 p.m.: End of the afternoon (or evening, or midnight, depending on when you work best), with a final 60-minute productivity cycle.
05:00 p.m: Do your errands, do some exercise, go shopping.