3 Daily Routines to Increase Your Productivity

The preparation that you make in the evening for the day ahead will have an enormous effect on how successful you are.

We’ve talked several times about the importance of thinking on paper when it comes to goal-setting and making a clear plan for your future and that’s exactly what we want to do when preparing for the day ahead.

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1) Always Think on Paper

Take a piece of paper and write down everything you intend to do. Include everything, even your plans to eat a healthy lunch and workout, prepare dinner for you and your family, every detail.

Then organize the piece of paper by asking yourself: “If I could only do one thing on this list today, which one thing would it be?”

And if I could only do two things which would be the second and the third? And then when you start first thing in the morning, start off with number one, and discipline yourself to work only on number one until it’s complete. Then move on to number two.

2) Don’t Check Your Email in the Morning

Checking your email in the morning makes getting off track entirely too easy. It starts with just one email, and before you know it, you’re several hours into your day and you still haven’t started on your number one task.

Keep your phone away from you or off to avoid distractions from your most important task.

Focus on your most important task for the day, work on it until it’s complete and then you can check your email and other incoming requests.

3) Make Your List of Written Tasks the Night Before

The final way for you to make sure you have a productive next day is to make this list of goals and tasks the night before.

Your ability to make good plans before you act is a measure of your overall competence. The better plan you have, the easier it is for you to overcome procrastination, to get started and then to keep going.

By writing down your goals before you go to sleep, you will think about the things you need to do and mentally prepare yourself to do them before you even wake up the next morning.

When you plan each day in advance, organize your list by priority, and stick to your plan, the work will go faster and smoother than ever before. You will feel more powerful and competent. You will get more done, faster than you thought possible. Eventually, you will become unstoppable.

Those are my 3 suggestions for increasing your day-to-day productivity. If you haven’t seen my other videos about improving your productivity and increasing your position in life, take a look.

What strategies have you used to prepare yourself for a productive day? Why did they work for you?

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • 3) Make Your List Of Written Tasks The Night Before

    One of the most powerful tools. when it is on paper, it is in sight. This way you are always aware of your most important tasks on hand. Making the list prior hand always makes it easier to properly plan your next day. Definitely going to suggest this habit to others.

  • Ricky

    1. Ask your team if there is a pencil solution available.
    For every problem, there is at least one complex solution, and they are usually very easy to find. We need to make sure that we continue to check for simple solutions and not stop at the first solution found.

    I always remind my team of the NASA and the pen story, where NASA allegedly brought together pen experts and spent over $1 million and 12 months to develop a pen that would write in zero gravity and low pressure. The Russians, they just used a pencil.

    We need to check to see if a pencil solution exists, and if so, then go with that.

    2. Challenge your experts.
    Not only do we have a natural tendency to overcomplicate, but being an expert seems to increase this trait. It’s almost as if experts need to keep things complex to show how smart they are.

    But if only your experts understand it, how will anyone else be able to work on the solution or challenge whether it is the best solution? Having worked in IT, I was always faced with experts, and they would regularly tell me, “This is too complex to explain,” or that my level of knowledge was insufficient for me to understand.

    But here I always drew on the wisdom on Albert Einstein, who said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

    Experts don’t like this because it puts the burden on them to explain it, not on you to understand it, and if they can’t explain it simply, then this is a warning. If they don’t understand the problem or the solution, how can we be confident that they can solve it? And more importantly, how will they communicate to your teams what needs to be done?

    The simpler we can explain things, the more people we can have involved in the implementation.

    3. Assume you only have 20 percent of the required time.
    I love this approach because it does require you to think differently. We can all probably shave 5 percent to 10 percent of the time needed to complete a task just by doing it the way we already know better, but when we try to complete something with only 20 percent of the required time, then we need to completely rethink our approach.

    This mindset shift will get you thinking outside the box, and it will help increase your creative problem-solving skills. It might not always give you a 20 percent solution, but it will challenge the way you think about things and help you see simpler solutions that maybe you were missing out on before.

    Richard Branson says, “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.”

    Following these three simple tips will help you not only reduce complexity but become much better at identifying simple solutions which will benefit you and your team and lead to better results.

  • I thought I was one of a dying breed who still thinks on paper! Wow! I never use the “notes” apps on my phone or such like. I write down things as I think them, on paper

  • Bill Higgins

    Especially appreciate the tip about always using paper. It is so easy to compromise when it isn’t written down, but putting it on paper makes you accountable (at least to yourself). I have even found that doing the same thing on Sunday night for the week to come can also be helpful.
    Sometimes we get so lost in the minutia that we forget the big things we are trying to accomplish in any given week. Writing them down before the week starts keeps the focus where it should be, and helps to identify times when you will concentrate on that particular task.
    Thanks Brian.
    One other thought just hit me, sometimes we get so caught up in productivity that we lose sight of the people we are trying to be productive with. Don’t miss out on opportunities to build those relationships just to be more productive.

  • I am a big believer in planning the following day on my planner so that I can think about it and visualize the results I am seeking.

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