Most of us make the mistake of winding down after a long day, just vegetating in front of the TV or scrolling through our phones for who knows how long, and these habits are actually hurting your career; when you do this after work, you’re not setting yourself up for a productive tomorrow. Instead, take some time in the evening to plan for the next day and ensure you tackle it full force and energized to get things done.
Well, what should you do tonight to be super productive tomorrow? Here are ideas to get you started; find a routine that works for you, and stick to it; your production is going to take off when you’ve got a solid routine that works for you.
Take Time To Relax
When you get home from work, most of us tend to relax and do much of anything work-related, and that’s the right choice. A key to being productive is having the energy to get all your tasks done, and if you’re focused on work during every waking hour, you’re not going to be able to relax and let your body recover from a strenuous day; if you had a rough day at work, take some extra time to chill and relax.
Take an hour or so to do something you enjoy, whether it’s talking with your loved ones, reading, playing video games, or watch TV. This is time for you to recover, get your mind off of work, and basically tell your body that you’re not at work anymore – release all your stress and tension!
Respond To Some Emails
At the end of the day, you may finally have some time to get to emails, but don’t dedicate too much time to replying to emails; try to limit the time spent on this task to 15-30 minutes. Honestly, most of your emails can wait; don’t spend too much time on something you can do in the morning, or when you’ve got down time at work.
If a client has questions or a coworker needs a document sent to them, then make sure you get those things done; if it’s work crucial, take care of it tonight, but don’t let it stress you out or distract you from family or something else that requires your attention.
Oh, and remember – don’t do this just before bed! Try to make some time after dinner.
Think About Tomorrow
One easy way to be productive tomorrow is to be productive tonight: plan out what you’re going to do, and if you’re going to do anything creative, create an outline now, as this will potentially save you a few hours of work tomorrow. Rather than sitting at work wondering what to do, when you plan the night before, you won’t waste any time trying to remember what you’re supposed to do next.
Take some sticky notes and write down some tasks to complete, or put reminders in your phone or calendar app to ensure you don’t forget anything; this also helps you visualize the tasks, which can make them seem less intimidating, if you’ve got a big project due, for example. To save you time in the morning and keep you from having to rush, iron your clothes at night make sure your phone is on the charger when you go to sleep.
Remind Yourself Of Your Accomplishments
At the end of the day, reflect on all you’ve done, whether it’s talking about your day with your family or writing down the tasks you’ve completed will help you realize how productive you were and motivate you to do the same in the coming 24 hours. Even if you didn’t do a whole lot, write it all down and even include some good things that happened today, work-related or not.
Write down what you’re thankful for, what you want to accomplish tomorrow, next week, next month, even next year. By putting all this to paper (or at least visualizing it), you’re getting a broad view of where you’ve been and where you’re headed, which is a great way to identify any weak points that may be preventing you from being even more productive.
Spend Some Time With Family/Friends
By hanging out with people you love, you’re putting yourself in a good mood, and this will carry over to the next day, keeping you motivated and happy, two things that go a long way to getting things done and killing it at work. Something that your child says to you when you’re putting them to bed can motivate you to just go HAM at work and impress your boss, or some advice and encouragement from your spouse can help prepare for a nerve-racking pitch meeting you’ve got the next day.
When you are around your loved ones, the good vibes they promote will last far into the next day, or even the next week. It just puts you in a good mood and reminds you that everything is okay; work may suck some days, but you’ll always have family and friends that love you and tell you how great you are.
A great way to signal to your brain that it’s time to relax is to grab a book and dive in. Whatever you read may help you find a solution to a problem you’re facing, or it may simply inspire you.
Before you hit the hay, take at least 20 minutes to read; even if it’s reading your children a bedtime story or rereading one of your favorite novels, you’re helping your body get ready for a solid night’s rest, which is another thing that can ensure you’re super productive tomorrow. Reading calms you down and this may help you think about work or life from a different perspective, and you may find the solution to something that’s been bugging you for some time, which helps you become more productive by moving on to other tasks.
There’s a lot you can do at night to help improve your productivity during the day, but this is a solid place to start. Add these practices to your nightly routine and see if it has any affect on your productivity.
Find a routine that works well for you, stick to it, and you’ll find the days go by faster, you get more done, and most importantly, you’re happier than you used to be.
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