Achieve Results on Auto-Pilot
Do You Want To Increase Productivity But Feel It’s Virtually Impossible?
What does your day look like?
- Do you go from meeting to meeting, from activity to activity without having a lot of control over how your time is spent?
- Do you start off the day with a long to-do list but then never get through (any of) it?
- Do you end the day collapsing onto the couch, wondering what happened that day?
Are you ready to increase productivity? I’m going to give you the tips to make this happen.
Specifically, in this article, I’m going to share with you:
- The ONE THING you can do each day to increase productivity
- The 5 reasons most people avoid doing the ONE THING and how to overcome each
- Success tips to implement this ONE THING daily
- An example of how to set up this ONE THING
- A free download checklist that will make it easy to put this into ACTION yourself.
The One Thing to Do, To Increase Productivity and Accelerate Your Results
Now….what you might have been waiting for when you opened this article.
What is the one thing you can do to increase productivity and accelerate your results?
TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND YOUR RESULTS, set and schedule your daily routine, including your bare minimum.
- Create a daily routine checklist that lists what you plan to accomplish every morning, day, and evening to reach your goals.
- Then, asterisk what you commit to doing EVERY DAY, without exception, as a commitment to yourself. This is the bare minimum.
- Then, schedule it into your calendar EVERY DAY. This might mean waking up 30 minutes earlier. It will be worth it. Skeptical? Try it for a week and see if you notice a difference. I notice a HUGE difference on the days that I don’t fit in my routines.
Design Your Most Productive Day Checklist
Download the Design Your Most PRODUCTIVE Day Checklist
This Seems Simple but Most People Don’t Do It, and Then Their Results Fall Flat.
Here are the top reasons why most people don’t set up a routine for themselves, and definitely don’t set the bare minimum.
- They don’t make time to take a step back, to leverage their time more intentionally.
- They feel like they’re setting themselves up for failure, so “why bother?”. This is deciding ahead of time that they’re going to fail.
- They feel routines and habits are so rigid…spontaneity should rule the day.
- They don’t trust themselves because they don’t usually prioritize and complete commitments to themselves.
- They don’t set goals, so they don’t know what routine would help them achieve those goals.
Now, let’s tackle each of these and how to overcome them, to increase productivity.
#1 – Not Taking the Time to Create a Plan. Letting the Day Run You.
The first reason people don’t set up daily habits, with a bare minimum, is they don’t take the time to create an intentional plan for the day.
This quote from Jim Rohn can be a game-changer — “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
It’s so simple but also so powerful and it’s the key to increase productivity. Jim Rohn recommends
(1) planning and
(2) following through on your plans.
Either you make plans and follow through or you allow the circumstances of the day to unfold on their own.
Could it be more simple than that? And, truly, this routine doesn’t take long. I plan my day the night before and it takes me anywhere from 5-20 minutes.
#2 – Deciding You’ll Fail Ahead of Time, so “Why Bother?”.
A lot of people avoid setting habits because they have already decided they’re “hard” or “impossible.”
To overcome this obstacle, ask yourself “what if?”
- What would happen if I stuck to my habits for 30 days?
- How would it feel to complete these routines daily, improve productivity, and accomplish a goal?
- What if I didn’t achieve the end result, would I still gain something? Most likely the answer is YES:
- You would gain the confidence that you completed something you started.
- You would be closer to your goal had you not done anything.
#3 – Avoiding Routines and Habits Because They Seem Rigid
So many people avoid setting daily habits (and a bare minimum) because they tell themselves it’s too rigid. They should be spontaneous.
As a result, they end up with a to-do list that grows longer by the day, commitments that pile up, and anger and frustration with themselves and their families because of this overwhelm.
To increase productivity and reach more goals, a routine, a bare minimum, and a daily schedule are imperative.
First of all, when are you truly spontaneous anyway? Most of us are no longer in our twenties, hopping on a plane for a last-minute weekend excursion.
Instead, what if you flipped this idea on its head? By shifting your mindset to one of “I could actually free myself to be more flexible and less stressed if I set up my daily routine, bare minimum and schedule.” Having a plan actually helps to free up time for fun.
Set your daily habits knowing they’ll eventually occur on auto-pilot. This will free you for more time doing what matters to you, and less mental time wasted on self-bashing. That will be much better than spontaneity!
#4 – Not Prioritizing Commitments to Yourself
I can relate to this. I used to fall over myself making sure followed my parent’s advice – never let someone down, always follow through with your commitments. I always did my best to apply this to other people but I *rarely* applied it to myself.
Can you relate?
Do you make commitments to yourself and then follow-through on them, just as you follow through when you make commitments to other people?
The key to accelerating your productivity and results is to follow-through on your daily plan and bare minimum. Make a commitment to yourself to complete your daily habit checklist and you will increase productivity and your results. You will also feel so PROUD that you kept a commitment to yourself.
#5 – Feeling Overwhelmed By All the Habits You Feel You SHOULD Implement but Not Having the Time for All of Them
I don’t know about you, but in the past, I’ve found it challenging to fit in anything ‘extra’ beyond just these day-to-day things like meetings, work assignments, kid’s activities, feeding and bathing the kids, and sleeping.
To improve productivity and results, it’s so key to know your big picture:
- What goals are you committed to accomplish and what habits and actions are needed to get you there?
- And WHY does this matter to you?
Have you made the mental space to even think about your goals and what you want to accomplish, beyond whatever someone asked you to do?
Are you allowing other people (your boss, your client, your kids, your husband, your friends, your family…) to determine how you spend your time?
Take a step back and dream:
- What would you want to accomplish if you didn’t have constraints of your time or your money? What would make a HUGE difference in your life and in the life of those around you?
- Think about all areas of your life:
- Pick something and commit to tackling it over the next 30-90 days.
Now that you have this big picture,
- Identify the activities and habits you should be doing to reach your goals.
- Highlight your bare minimum commitment to yourself.
- And don’t forget to schedule time for these routines each day.
Then, when you start to question whether you have time for this, go back to your big picture goal and remind yourself WHY you’re doing it.
How Can You Make Sure You Actually Complete the Daily Bare Minimum?
So now you might be thinking to yourself:
- Great Melisa, this is helpful but how do I actually make it happen each day?
- I already told you that I’m overwhelmed by my daily obligations and mountainous to-do list and don’t have any time for “extras”.
- How can I actually complete the daily bare minimum?
Here are my tips on making this daily routine, including the bare minimum items stick:
- Be realistic with the bare minimum. Set a list of 1-2 items that are your bare minimum each day. Don’t pick 15 items to start. You can start with one or two and then, after you’re consistent for at least 30 days, layer on more bare minimum habits.
- Schedule the bare minimum. Schedule the specific time for your bare minimum in the calendar. If it’s not scheduled, it will almost never happen.
- Track the days you finish the bare minimum. Create yourself some visual motivation, so you can see your streak of wins and celebrate yourself!
3 Ways to Track Your New Daily Habits & Bare Minimum
If you’d like a few ideas on how to track these daily habits and the bare minimum, here are a few tools for you. I’ve tried sooooo many different habit tracker, planner, and task management apps. These are my favorite!
- Habit Tracker App like Way of Life or Tally. Be sure to mark your bare minimum habits with something like an asterisk in the title so you can differentiate between the must-have habits and the nicer to have habits.
- Paper – For a simple solution, make a chart where you track all of your daily habits and check them off to see your streak of success. My current favorite planner is the Full Focus Planner and it has a built-in habit tracker. You can also use a simple spreadsheet.
- Task Management App like Toodledo. Set a repeating task that you can check off each day. Set the priority to high for your bare minimum items.
Here’s an Example for You
I love examples myself. I appreciate seeing how others organize their day. Their goals and priorities are almost always different than mine but the examples are still so useful, to bring the concepts to life.
Do you agree examples are useful?
I’ll assume you said yes and go ahead to share mine.
My daily habits are as follows, in order of how I usually tackle them during the day. The asterisks mark the habits that are part of my bare minimum.
- Drink 24 oz of water
- Visualize my goals
- Complete a personal development lesson
- Work on Crushing Motherhood for 1-2 hours*
- Fill out my Mom’s One Line a Day Journal*
- Plan the calendar for the next day*
- Read for 20-30 minutes with my 7 year old*
A few things to point out:
- This is my daily routine, with the asterisk marking my bare minimum actions.
- I’m sharing it as an example for you. Create your own to match your set of goals.
- This isn’t my entire daily schedule (that would be amazing if it was!)
- This is my daily checklist of activities that I schedule into my calendar when I plan my day.
Putting This Into Action
Here’s a free checklist to help you put this into action and increase productivity and results.
Design Your Most Productive Day Checklist
Download the Design Your Most PRODUCTIVE Day Checklist
Did You Know?
I help other working moms to create and execute the plans and routines that are required for them to reach their business and personal goals.
If you want to create your own mini plan, here’s the link to book 30 minutes on my calendar.
We’ll work together to build a plan for you and identify your next steps. Then, we’ll talk for a few minutes at the end about what I do and if we might be good working together. I’m not a salesperson so don’t expect a sales call. This is time focused on you and your goals, and how to get to the next level.