6 Tips on How To Have a Productive Day

how to have a productive day

Imagine drastically improving the quality of the results you achieve, by implementing a couple of tips that will help you have a productive day.

How would that sound? Amazing right? 

I always say that a successful day is either a super fun day or a productive day. You have either enjoyed the day to its fullest and haven’t worked too much or you’ve made a lot of progress on your goals.

Whenever I don’t feel like I had a productive day, I get a bad feeling, almost like guilt. I know that I could’ve done more, and I didn’t even do something super fun that day. I was just lazy and didn’t get myself to do what I set out to do. And this happens more frequently then I would’ve liked to admit.

But everyone has his down days, and when you have those days, you should not make yourself feel bad and throw it all away. Just look at what went wrong and how you can improve that. That’s why we’re going to talk about some steps on how to have a productive day.

These steps can be seen as an effective productivity system that makes you more likely to do whatever you wanted to accomplish. We’re all humans and have our flaws, and systems like these help us to get everything in balance. 

Let’s have a look at the 6 tips on how to have a productive day

Start with the evening before

I always say that a great day starts the night before. 

When you know what you need to do the next day and when you want to do it, it makes it way easier for you to get it done the next day. It gives your head some peace so that you can rest while sleeping and not having to remember all the things that have to get done the next day. 

To do this is pretty simple:

  • Take a notebook or a PC app.
  • Write down everything you need to get done
  • Schedule the tasks accordingly in time stamps. (what time you want to start the tasks and finish the task)
  • Pick 3 most important tasks, and make sure you plan them as early as possible and get it done before anything else

Related: The Easy 3 Step Process To Plan Your Day Effectively and Reach Your Goals

Prioritize before doing

It’s normal for us humans to just want to put things on a to-do list and go over them one by one. Just get as many things done during the day and you will feel productive, right? Not really. 

When we just jot down a task and get them done as fast as possible, we might feel a little bit productive but are we really? We just got a lot of things done, not even sure if these things were meaningful or getting you closer to your goals. 

Before starting to work on your to-do list, prioritize your tasks. See what tasks are more important and need more attention. Look at the tasks that will really move you towards your goals. So that you know if you get these done, you will have had an amazingly productive day. 

Related: Why You Should Choose Priority Management over Time Management

Write a ‘’not-to-do’’ list

We all know how our to-do list looks like, but how do we also have a “not-to-do-list”? It sounds counterintuitive but it’s actually a clever way of finding out where to focus on. 

If we create a not-to-do-list, then we know beforehand where to not focus our time on. It makes it clear that these tasks don’t have to get done today and we don’t even need to think of it right now, because they don’t move us forward into the direction that we want to go to. 

It’s quite simple to create a not-to-do-list, and here is how it goes:

  1. Write down 25 tasks/goals that you need to get done
  2. Circle the 5 tasks that are most important to you
  3. Tackle these first 5 tasks on your list and avoid numbers 6 to 25.
  4. They are now your ‘’not-to-do-list’’ and don’t give them any attention before you complete the first 5 tasks.

Create a productive morning routine

After you had an amazing evening where you prepared your next day, you have to start the next day strong. The way on how to start the day strong is by having a morning routine that creates a foundation for your day. 

The first hour of the day is the most important hour. Whatever you will do in this first hour will be the foundation for the rest of the day, spend it wisely and your day will be amazing, spend it poorly and your day will be a disaster. 

What does a ‘’good morning routine’’ look like? 

Exactly how you imagine a good morning routine to be like. Don’t get all caught up with different morning routines from billionaire’s and CEOs. And create the feeling that you need to do all the amazing morning practices these people do. You have to create your own morning routine, one that makes you feel good in the morning. 

Common practices will be exercising, meditating, journaling, cold showering, showing gratitude in the morning and of course way more. But you should think about the activities that give you the most enjoyment in the morning, or certain goals you have that you want to achieve.

  • Think of 3 activities you enjoy doing or will bring you closer to your goals
  • Do these 3 activities first thing in the morning
  • Enjoy doing these activities
  • Do it daily and create a routine, set yourself up for an amazing day. 

Finish each task without multitasking.

A simple way to have a productive day is to finish each task before starting hopping on to the next tasks. Instead of doing all the tasks just for 50% finish the tasks all the way to the end.

This might seem tedious sometimes, as we want to as much as we can in the shortest amount of time. But there have been many studies done that if we don’t finish a task and start multitasking, that we won’t be able to be 100% productive on the other tasks. Our brains are still busy with the previous ones. 

To give your brain a rest, you will have to do one task after the other. 

The human mind can only hold small amounts of information at a time in the brain. When you rapidly switch from one task to another, your brain uses up a lot of mental energy trying to keep up with the tasks. And this can cause you to lose a lot of time. 

Delegate, Eliminate and Automate

Lastly, to how a more productive day is not by doing more but by doing less.

If you have a huge amount of tasks you need to get done daily, and a huge portion of them are not moving you forward towards your goals or are just tedious tasks that you personally don’t have to do daily you can start looking if you can delegate, eliminate or automate that task.

Look at your whole to-do list and take a good look at it. There might be some things that you might have to do yourself, some things that you can keep for later, but there are also tasks that you can integrate into software or system, and there are others that someone else might be able to do for you.

Here is a great article from Trackly about delegating, eliminating and automating tasks. They have a very thorough explanation of why and how to do it. Check it out!


So what now? 

Now it’s all up to you for having a productive day! There are thousands of tips on how to be productive online, but if you don’t take action on it, you won’t become productive.

Look at your own life and look at the tip that will be the best fit for you. What area of productivity have you been lacking, and how can you improve that?

I would recommend starting with the evening planner. Planning your day out and preparing yourself for a productive day has shown to be the most beneficial productivity tip for me.

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Nick Colo

I’m a 23 year old psychology dropout currently living in Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve started a couple of companies all from scratch from my desk at home by the power of self-education. I have a mission to share my knowledge about self-education and help people create their desired life through the power of self-education.


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