Time. We never have enough of it and it’s always trying to outrun us and most of the time it does. Today, however, I’m gonna tell you how you can avoid that and how YOU can outrun time.
By following these 5 tips you will not only make the most out your day, but you’ll also get more done in less time, become more creative, reduce stress and overall improve your life.
Ensure 8-9 hours of quality sleep.
Sleep is something that many many people overlook, yet it’s one of the most important things we can do to improve our focus, creativity and brain function.
Most of us get about 6-7 hours of sleep per day and we think that’s ok when it really isn’t. What we fail to acknowledge is the fact that out of those 6-7 hours we only sleep for about 5 and a half hours, which is nowhere near enough since we need at least 8 and a half hours of actual sleep.
Sleep is made of different stages and we need to make sure that we get the required sleep in each state (we’ve got 4 stages), to ensure that we need to get in at least 8.5 hours of actual sleep time, meaning you should spend about 9 hours in bed.
It’s also recommended that you have set a certain time for when you need to be in bed and when you need to wake up. By always going to bed and waking up at the same time, your body will manage sleep more efficiently and make you even more energized.
Some other benefits include: decreased stress and anxiety, better mental and physical performance, better learning abilities and others.
Spend the first 3 hours of your day in a state of deep work.
Every time you sit down to work on something, a ping, ding or dong stops you in your tracks.
Social media and email are our biggest distractors, according to Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.
When you’re in a state of deep work you are not only REALLY creative, you’re also extremely focused and get about 2-3 times more done than when you’re not in a state of deep work.
I will explain a bit more about the benefits and results of deep work in future posts, but in short, a state of deep work is a state of extreme creativity and focus.
The easiest way to get into a state of deep work is to ELIMINATE all distractions like your phone notifications and internet usage for the first 1-3 hours of your day.
Instead focus on the most important thing that you want to work on and get done, of course, it helps if you’re passionate about it too – see Why Letting Go is the Best Strategy for Achieving Your Goals
Not only will spending your first 1-3 hours in a state of deep work make you really productive, it will also make your whole day go a lot better, since you’ll already get a lot done in the first couple of hours of the day, which will, of course, make you feel really good about yourself.
Start with the hardest task first.
This one ties up directly to the previous tip about deep work. As we know when we create our to-do list, most of the time we put a lot of stuff on it, tasks that’re quite easy to do and don’t require much attention, but at the same time, we also have tasks that are quite demanding on the list.
What I found myself doing often is just completing the simple tasks and trying to avoid the harder tasks, which resulted in me getting nothing done. Luckily I found a great solution.
START your day with the HARDEST task on your to-do list, sure it will be hard, but when you get done with the hardest one first thing in the morning you’ll feel absolutely excellent, in fact, everything else on your to-do list will feel really easy to do.
Plan the day the night before.
If you haven’t already I suggest you check out my post How I Eliminated Procrastination Forever and How You Can Too, after all this tip is from that post, it’s just explained a bit more in-depth over there.
Planning your day the night before has been absolutely huge for me and I honestly think it’s an absolute miracle for making the most out your day, while also taking away the stress of deciding on what you’re gonna do next.
What I want you do to is to spend 10-15minutes the night before on creating a short plan for the next day. What you want to do is create a plan where you write down exactly what you’re going to do, at what time you’re going to do it and add an estimation of how long it’s going to take.
This is probably my go-to tip for anyone that asks me for productivity advice, it’s called time-blocking and it’s been an absolute miracle in my life, allowing me to be really productive and organized while taking away the stress from decision making during the day.
If you don’t follow your plan exactly and something ends up taking more or less of your time, simply just continue to the next thing once you finish the one you’re currently working on. As long as you don’t skip anything on the list, it’s all good.
Do at least 30 minutes of intense exercise daily.
This last one really does come from the heart. For the past few months, I’ve really been trying hard to find inspiration and motivation for the gym, I absolutely hated going to the gym, lifting weights or spending an hour of my time on one of the cardio machines.
Then I started doing sprints and interval training, it changed my attitude towards working out completely. It didn’t make it any easier to go to the gym, but it made it a lot more fun. For some reason I feel in love with interval training and it makes me feel absolutely exhausted when I do it, but after I’m done I feel incredible.
I do 10 sets of 20-second sprints, with 1-2 minutes of rest in between each set. Each sprint is performed at 100% intensity meaning I will spring as fast as I can for 20 seconds.
It’s very important that you do a warm-up before this otherwise you can get hurt, so make sure to only do this when you stretch and feel nice and warmed up.
Another crucial thing is that you BREATHE through your nose only, don’t breathe through your mouth ever, just try as hard as you can to breathe through your nose when you sprint, when you’re cooling down and when you’re resting.
When you breathe through your nose you take in much more quality oxygen which will fuel your brain like crazy and will result in you being much much more focused, present in the moment and ready to absolutely smash the day. I do this first thing in the morning. Try to do it outside, the gym doesn’t have fresh air filled with high-quality oxygen. 😉
Thanks for reading, I really do hope you found this post valuable.
Until next time,