Having just one good productive day can change the trajectory of your life. If you're able to learn the formula of what makes a perfect day and you repeat this process over and over again it is only a matter of time before you achieve your dreams and create the life of your dreams. But if you look around, especially during this pandemic, it seems like almost no one is being productive. This leads to a snowball effect, where because you're unproductive you become depressed and unmotivated which makes you even more unproductive. Thanks to corona, the structure of a regular school or work has collapsed. This makes it even more important that you understand the tips and tricks needed to conquer the day even if your home all day.
Plan the Night Before
Before you go to sleep, jot down three of the most important things you want to accomplish tomorrow. This allows you to sleep without worrying about what you should do tomorrow and more importantly give you a reason to get out of bed instead of consistently hitting the snooze button.
The Morning Wins the Day
There's a reason why the majority of uber successful people on this planet wake up at an ungodly hour. This article isn't about why waking up early is important, but you have to understand that waking up at 2 PM vs waking up at 7 AM has a drastic effect on the rest of your day.
Step one is to make your bed. This is a non-negotiable. It's your first completed task and win of the day and no matter how crappy your day was you'll at least be greeted with a made bed before you sleep.
Step two is to eat your frog. What this essentially means is to tackle your hardest task of the day. This can take anywhere from one to three hours. This comes before breakfast, because by staving off eating you stay in a fasted state which is scientifically proven to increase concentration.
Step three eat and walk. After eating your frog you want to eat a healthy hearty breakfast filled with a lot of protein but not a lot of carbs. Examples: chicken salad with avocado or hard boiled eggs with strawberries and blueberries. Try not to eat things like bagels, pizza, pancakes, bacon, etc. Once you finish eating you want to take a 20 minute walk outside. By walking you are aiding digestion, getting sunlight which has been proven in multiple studies to aid mental cognition and deep sleep, and finally spend some time thinking deeply. Some of the greatest minds of all time have attributed walking to their massive success from people like psychologist Carl Jung to Albert Einstein. When I take my morning walks I tend to think about some of the biggest obstacles I am facing and how I can tackle them. 9 out of 10 times I think of great solutions which I then execute on throughout the day.
If you drink coffee or tea everyday like I do, you need to start drinking strategically. Instead of drinking it the moment after you wake up when you're in your most tired state you want to drink it when you're feeling your best. For me this is when I've come back from my daily walk and have just taken a cold shower. I then proceed to drink the coffee slowly, over the course of 90-120 minutes. This way I prevent afternoon fatigue and when the caffeine crash does come it's after I finished all my work and have just ate dinner.
During days when you aren't doing cognitive demanding tasks like chores or emails, you want to try not to drink coffee. Once every two weeks I have a caffeine cleanse in order to slow down building tolerance. During this day I read, go through emails, do laundry and relax.
Try to aim for one to two hour sprints where you are completely focused on the task at hand, and after take a 15-20 minute break. Repeat this process until it's time for dinner. If you're trying to get in a deep focus state but are completely tired and burnt out, spend the next hour recharging and try again. No need to try to force something when you have super low levels of energy.
At the end of the day you always want to reflect whether it be in a google doc, notion or a physical journal. When you take 5 minutes to jot down what you did that day. You're able to see whether or not you're going in the right direction and if not what you have to do to pivot. Another reason why reflection is important is that is slows down the passage of time. Productivity Youtuber Ali Abdaal says when he doesn't consistently journal his months become blurs because he doesn't remember what he did which in turn makes it feel like he hasn't accomplished anything. I couldn't agree more with this statement. No matter how "productive" your day may seem if it's not taking you closer to where you want to go it's a step in the opposite direction.
In the beginning following this process to the T is going to feel almost impossible. So slowly ease into it, if focusing for 4 hours is too much start with one and slowly work up from there. Don't think of waking up early, taking walks, and eating healthy as sacrifices. Instead think of them as power ups or catalysts to becoming more energized and happy which as a result will make you so much more productive. Hope that helps and never forget you're exactly where you need to be.