My favorite part of the day is the mornings. I have a particular routine that I go through each and every day that ensures that I am both mentally and physically prepared for everything I need to accomplish. I start out by meditating for at least 20 minutes, then I start focusing on what I want to do.
My Morning Routine
I’ve found that I’m most productive when I work somewhere between 4-6 hours per day. This may not sound like a whole lot, but I’ve consistently found that when I work more that 6 hours in a day that I’m not nearly as productive with the additional time that I put in.
One of the things that I find helps me keep my focus during the working part of my day is to listen to classical music. For whatever reason it helps me to keep my mind active but it doesn’t interrupt my thought patterns since there are no words. A couple years ago we had a bunch of speakers installed throughout the house by a company that installs high end audio dealer in Los Angeles. While I always work from my office, we have these speakers everywhere. So I can listen to my favorite music at a relatively low volume throughout my workday.
Improving Your Productivity
One of the best ways to help improve your level of productivity is to take the time to actually focus on it. There are a number of effective techniques out there, but one of my favorites is the pomodoro technique. This technique is based on the fact that it’s difficult for most people to focus on a task for more than 20 minutes at a time. So this technique has you work non-stop for 20 minutes and then take a five minute break.
Why is this method so effective? Well to begin with when you’re working for long periods of time, especially on a computer, it’s easy for distractions to take hold and for you to lose track of your day. Distractions like emails, Facebook, and even phone calls can cause you to break focus and completely forget the task at hand.
The technique is very simple. You set a timer for a reasonable amount of time, say 15-20 minutes. And then during that time you do nothing except work on a specific task. When the timer goes off you take a 5 minute break. This means you can check Facebook, browse the web, take the dog out, essentially whatever you want to do that has nothing to do with work.
This is a great way to keep your mind fresh and allow yourself to work more efficiently without getting burned out. I was somewhat skeptical when I first heard about it. I mean seriously, you’re using a kitchen timer to keep track of your work time. But after you’ve done it for a while you find that your productivity actually does increase dramatically.
I’ve even convinced my husband to try it when he’s working in his shop. He too has experienced some efficiency gains, though I will say it seems to be more effective for tasks that require creativity and thinking more so that physical tasks.
So if you’re struggling with your productivity levels consider giving the pomodoro technique a try. It can make a dramatic difference in how much you get done each day.