If you’re wondering how to get the most out of your day and make every day count, then you’re in the right place! I want to look at 19 really easy ways to get as much out of each and every day as possible, so that when you go to bed each night you’ll feel productive and happy. It doesn’t have to take a lot to make these changes – but each and every one will make a huge difference to what you can get done. I hope you enjoy!
I am the type of person who hates to waste time – my hubby will testify to this because it’s something he hears at the end of a day if I feel I haven’t got a lot done.
It doesn’t have to take a lot to feel I’ve accomplished something. Even the smallest of wins can change the tone of the day, and so I’ve decided to put these ideas together that I use to get as much out of the day as possible.
They will help you to make the most of your day, and feel great doing so!
So – let;s get started, shall we?…
19 TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DAY
#1 BE REALISTIC
First things first. This isn’t an exercise in trying to do too much. You are not able to create more time in a day and you are only one person – so just keep this in mind as much as possible when you plan out what you want to get done.
Remember there are only 24 hours in a day – because if you try and achieve too much then you’ll feel negative at the end of the day if you haven’t achieved it all – and who wants that?!.
As a rule of thumb when planning your day it’s always worth keeping in mind how much time you realistically think things will take you, so you can plan accordingly and not fill your diary up too much.
(Also keep in mind that you need to allow for prep time, travel time etc….).
#2 – BE FLEXIBLE
Along the same lines as #1 – you should always allow for flexibility in your day.
Know that things will happen (life!), so give yourself extra time in between each item as you will always have unexpected things to deal with such as traffic, a phone call, an errand to run, a poorly child etc…
If you’re often sidetracked by the unexpected then try and get your high priority items done first – then you will become less stressed if you find you can’t do more that day (however be aware that if you only ever get to do the high priority items then those items that were once considered low priority will slowly creep up to be higher and higher priority as time goes on).
#3 – KNOW YOUR DAILY GOALS
If you know what you want to achieve each day then you’ll feel like you’ve been productive.
I like to think about what I would be happy with if I was in bed that night – and that will automatically show me what my priorities for the day should be.
I also try and ensure every day is balanced – with some time for work, leisure, family, yourself, exercise etc.. If you want some tips on how to sort this out, then THIS POST is a must-read.
Always prioritise what you NEED to do first – you’ll always feel more productive at the end of the day if you get at least these things done.
#4 – FORWARD PLAN
Spend 15 minutes the evening before to plan the next day – that way you will be aware of exactly what you need to do, and can be ready to start as soon as you wake.
If you try and do this on the day itself it’s a lot easier to get sidetracked and lose half the day before you know it…
#5 – MANAGE YOUR DIARY
Ensure that you have enough space in your diary to list all things you need to do each day – use a different colour pen for different items if required, or have a set space in the diary for each type of thing (i.e. errands to run, appointments, reminders etc….).
If you keep your diary organised then you can more easily manage your time and feel productive.
#6 – KNOW YOUR TO DO LIST
Have a master “TO DO” list in the front of your diary – for items that you want to get done at some point, but that don’t have a specific date to be done by. When you are planning your day and have any free time, take a look at this list and add something into your plan.
Try and aim to do one of these items a week or a month (depending on their size) – then you will not only get the day to day stuff done, but also tackle more long term goals.
Ticking things off a list is the #1 way to feel like you’ve got as much out of the day as possible!
#7 – USE YOUR DOWNTIME
Whether you are in a queue at the shops, in traffic, waiting for a child at their after school class, or waiting at the school gates etc… – there are LOADS of pockets of time that we can easily waste just looking around and twiddling our thumbs!
Think about doing something with this time – whether it be reading something (audio books or podcasts are fantastic to do in the car!), walking/running while kids are in a class somewhere, going through your email on your phone, making a call etc… and you’ll find it a great way to get the most out of your day.
#8 – DO THINGS AT THE RIGHT TIME
Firstly – use your day to its best advantage and make the most of quiet times. Try and go shopping when the shops first open or nearer closing, as you will have to wait less time usually to be served.
Secondly – work out what routine works for you each day – do you function better in the evenings? Plan the time after the children are in bed to do some tasks. Do what suits you best and you are more likely to stick to it (and don’t do what works for others, as we are all unique – make your own plan and you’ll reap the rewards).
#9 – DON’T OVERFILL YOUR TIME
It’s all too easy to be busy in our lives, but not actually get anything done. Take a look at what you need to do each day and try to determine if it’s REALLY necessary.
Declutter what you can – Delegate to others if possible – Automate tasks (e.g. direct debits instead of paying the bills each month) and you’ll get loads done without having to actually do it all!
#10 – MULTI TASK WHEN POSSIBLE
Try and multi task on the easier jobs i.e. fold washing when talking on the phone, talk to your family while making tea etc…
#11 – FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME
When you DO need brain power to do a job – get that done and focus on it 100%. You will do it much faster.
#12 – GROUP THINGS
Group items together so you spend less time on them i.e. in one trip to the shops you could get 4 errands done, rather than spreading them across different days.
This is also true when you are focusing on one thing at a time because if you group tasks then your brain is already trained to do that task, so it takes even less time to get them all done together.
Another way to think about grouping things is to group non-alike things to make the most of your time as well. By this I mean that if you can walk to the shops or cycle then do this so you don’t have to find extra time for exercise in your day as well. (Walk the kids to school and then run home, Do errands in town but go home via a friends to drop something off to them to save an extra journey). Get creative because that’s when the magic happens!
#13 – GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
There is no bigger waste of time than distractions. Turn your phone on silent, don’t watch TV, etc… – and if you really have to get through lots in a day, think about telling others in your family to leave you in peace so you can get through it…
#14 – EAT THAT FROG!
Most people find that the best way to get things done is to start on the ones that they are not looking forward to doing – then they will be out of the way and you then often find that you have renewed energy to get more done after that.
If you leave the worst until last you often drag your feet and not do as much so you never get to that task you dread (I see you!).
#15 – FEEL PROGRESS
If you start to get things done, then you’re more likely to feel motivated to continue. As such, have a list of quick tasks on your TO DO list that you can get through at the start of the day, and maybe take the first half an hour to get through as many as you can. This surge of progress will really kick start you!
#16 – USE A TIMER
A trick I use ALL. THE.TIME! Set a timer and race against it. It’s weird, but it works every time.
#17 – TAKE A BREAK
If you are rested then you will get more done. Sometimes taking a step away from things means you get more done overall. Go for a walk, have a coffee – even have a power nap in the afternoon if it works for you!
#18 – LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise – all the things we know we should do really do make a difference to our energy levels and therefore our productivity throughout each day.
#19 – DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE
If you go through a whole day being busy then yes, you’re being productive – but you may not feel as productive because you haven’t done something that makes you smile.
Make sure you do at least one thing a day for you specifically…