5 Steps To Effectively Prepare For A Highly Productive Day

Jari Roomer
Mar 20, 2019 · 10 min read

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

— Abraham Lincoln

Preparing for a highly productive day doesn’t have to take much time either. I’ve personally experienced that anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes is enough to save yourself a ton of time, energy and frustration the very next day.

Step 1: Reflect On The Previous Day

One of the easiest but most overlooked ways to become more productive is to regularly reflect on your actions, progress and behaviour. In fact, most people never really question or analyze their own actions, and they continue to work in the same way as they’ve always done before.

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Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash
  • What efforts/activities/products/people have consumed my time and energy but didn’t lead to a lot of results (if any at all)?
  • What could I have done better in order to be more productive and focussed?
  • What habits have been essential to my happiness, productivity, focus and energy?
  • What were the blind spots and unforeseen events that happened, that I should learn from?

Step 2: Set 1–3 Daily Goals

The second step to effectively prepare for a highly productive day is to set anywhere from one to three goals for the day. Either do this the night before your workday or early in the morning before you start working. To help you set your goals, ask yourself these two questions:

What thing(s), if achieved, would lead me to consider that this day would be a total success?

What thing(s), if achieved, lead to significant progress towards my bigger goals (weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly goals)?

You absolutely need to have daily goals (you can also call them intentions or targets, it doesn’t really matter) as they are essential to help you consistently make significant progress towards the achievement of your bigger goals.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Step 3: Prioritize Your Tasks

Another key component of preparing for a highly productive day is to prioritize your tasks. If you merely keep a simple to-do list and don’t clearly identify what your priorities are, you’ll be pulled towards doing the easier (and therefore often lesser important) tasks while postponing the more challenging (and therefore more important) tasks. Again, this is called ‘productive procrastination’.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

However, when you clearly prioritize your daily tasks using an ABCDE List the night before (or early in the morning, before you start working) you create the ultimate clarity on what tasks you need to crush because they are the ones that will lead to the most impactful results and cause the most significant progress towards your goals.

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Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Step 4: Schedule Your Day

Based on your daily goals and your priorities, the fourth step in preparing for a highly productive day is to schedule it.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”

- Confucius

Personally, I don’t like to plan my entire day down to every minute. In fact, I like to have some freedom and some ‘wiggle’ room. It’s how I enjoy my days a lot more. Therefore, I broadly schedule my day so that I know the sequence of when I should work on what tasks.

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Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

― Benjamin Franklin

In my opinion, scheduling the day is more about pre-determining the sequence of when to work on what tasks and roughly estimating how long each task will take compared to being a slave to your schedule. In reality, you’ll almost always be forced to adjust and adapt as things won’t go according to plan.

Step 5: Get The Infrastructure Ready

The last step in preparing for a highly productive day is to get the infrastructure ready. This step is meant to remove tiny decisions from your morning/day so you can work frictionless and smoothly.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Now Do It

If you want to prepare for a highly productive day, make sure that you (1) reflect on your actions, results and behaviour of the previous day, (2) set 1–3 goals to gain clarity and direction, (3) prioritize your tasks to prevent productive procrastination, (4) roughly schedule your day to remove friction and (5) get the infrastructure ready so you can work smoothly.

Want To Upgrade Your Productivity?

Download my free guide ’27 Productivity Hacks For Superhuman Performance’ to learn how to get more results without working more hours, achieve your personal & business goals 372% faster and gain more free time (without feeling guilty about it).

Personal Growth Lab

Sharing Proven and Actionable Advice On Improving Your…

Jari Roomer

Written by

I write about productivity, peak performance and anything personal growth | Download The Free ’27 Productivity Hacks’ Guide Here: https://bit.ly/2X6iPIs

Personal Growth Lab

Sharing Proven and Actionable Advice On Improving Your Performance | Download The Free ’27 Productivity Hacks’ Guide Here: https://bit.ly/2X6iPIs

Jari Roomer

Written by

I write about productivity, peak performance and anything personal growth | Download The Free ’27 Productivity Hacks’ Guide Here: https://bit.ly/2X6iPIs

Personal Growth Lab

Sharing Proven and Actionable Advice On Improving Your Performance | Download The Free ’27 Productivity Hacks’ Guide Here: https://bit.ly/2X6iPIs

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