Two full time jobs.
Six 16-hour work days,
……and only one day off.
This is the reality of being Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter.
Despite the long hours, Dorsey maintains his entrepreneurial spirit and stays on top of the digital game. With the countless “My Daily Routine” articles Dorsey has been a part of, he’s proven that with the proper plan, anyone can be a productivity prodigy.
In your eight-hour day, you’ve got meetings with your team, phone calls to return and plenty of content to create. You’re doing your best to be productive, but the workload can get overwhelming and leave you scatterbrained. Unfortunately for you, without a proper daily routine, you may not be quite as productive as you’d hope—you’re just busy.
You aren’t alone in that feeling. For the average workplace, 40 percent of time spent in the office is being used unproductively.
Pull out a sheet of paper, title it “My Daily Routine” and learn the tactics you need to be more productive, like Mr. Dorsey.
My Daily Routine Starts Way Before Yours
What if I were to tell you that my daily routine starts the night before?
The stressed masses might tell you that I’m an overachiever. But science will simply explain that in planning ahead, I’m actually setting a productivity tone for the rest of my day. What this all boils down to is the fact that I’m eliminating decision making tasks early in the morning.
Mark Zuckerberg has a closet lined with the exact same outfit, one for every single day.
Barack Obama has help with decisions like what to eat each day. This allows these two powerhouses to focus on the important decisions, rather than draining their brainpower.
Too many early morning decisions will slow you down.
Before you go to bed each night, get a head start by:
- Writing out your to do list
- Planning breakfast
- Picking the outfit you’d like to wear.
- Set an alarm each night that pushes you to get to bed at the same time, keeping your life on an effective schedule.
Now you know what your day is going to look like and you’re one step closer to using your daily routine list to reach new levels of success.
The Importance of Your Wake Up Call
Setting the tone for your most productive day begins the moment your alarm wakes you up. If you’re a morning person, your routine may begin as early as 4:30 in the morning, like Adele McLay, business growth strategist.
However, don’t force yourself out of bed when you’re not ready.
If you’re a night owl, let your most productive time happen later in the day by giving your brain ample time to rest.
Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed CEO and co-founder of The Huffington Post, sleeps in until 8:30 in the morning. When you’re in the heart of New York City with a major business to run, sleeping in that late is almost afternoon.
It’s all about knowing yourself and picking your best time of day to get moving.
Perfecting the Morning Routine
If you want to set the right tone for your day, stay away from technology. It’s easy to develop unhealthy habits like diving right into Facebook or a stack of emails the second we open our eyes. Doing this will take your focus away from having a productive day. My daily routine includes no screen time before breakfast, and yours should too.
It doesn’t matter what your “My Daily Routine” list looks like in the morning. It can be meditation, reading, drinking water, exercising or simply eating breakfast—the important part is that you have one.
Eat the Frog Right Away
Mark Twain’s frog philosophy has stood the test of time. The idea is that if you wake up and eat a frog first thing in the morning, you already know your day can’t get worse. No matter what comes up, you won’t be daunted or feel the need to procrastinate.
You’ve made it a point to be out of the house by 8:00 and are at your desk while the office is still quiet. It’s tempting to dive into mundane tasks like emails, in hopes of getting the little things taken care of. I’ve made it a point that my daily routine states (in bold letters) “EAT 3 FROGS BEFORE STARTING EMAILS.”
The average employee wastes an entire 13 hours per week on emails. Don’t waste your precious mental energy on something so menial. Instead, write a to do list that includes three giant frogs you can focus on before the day truly gets going. This will give you a much-needed push of momentum.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you’ve got a routine, you’re going to get more done in less time. It’s important to plan ahead to achieve your best level of productivity. Under the items you’ve already got on your “My Daily Routine” list, set at least three goals. This will increase your feelings of confidence and control.
Plan your day out in blocks of time. It’s been proven that productivity and performance are at their peak during uninterrupted 90-minute intervals. you’ve got your 3 goals set up in their respective 90-minute intervals, don’t let anyone distract you while you complete them.
Most importantly, don’t try to do it all. Your productivity is going to decrease by 40 percent when you try to do two or more things at once. Batch your work into groups that make sense each day. Schedule your priorities and then you’ll be walking into your “My Daily Routine” list like a boss.
No Two “My Daily Routine” Lists Will Be the Same
For some people, having each hour planned out on their “My Daily Routine” to do list might seem a little stressful.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.
Be sure to track your habits to get a better understanding of how you work.
If you need to be like Evan Williams, computer programmer and internet entrepreneur, by taking a break to workout in the middle of the day, do it.
If you’re more productive in the mornings, make it a point to be the first person to the office.
Your “My Daily Routine” list is going to be as unique to you as your taste in music. Take the time to plan ahead and you’ll be surprised at how smoothly your days start to go—is that another promotion in your future?
For more inspiration on your daily routine, listen to The Manila Folder podcast