Ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? I know the feeling.
There always seems to be so much to do, so much to accomplish.
However you choose to define success, whatever it is that you hope to achieve or complete- it most likely isn’t going to happen overnight.
It happens every day.
It happens when you stop using excuses.
It happens when you take small steps.
It happens when you grow and work on self-improvement on daily basis.
It happens when you don’t let small (or big) setbacks discourage you and bring you down.
Whatever it is that you’re after, start now. It doesn’t matter where you are; now is the best time to start.
Because you can’t let being where you are right now, stop you from getting where you want to be.
If you want to develop a productive routine for your day, you need to make the most of your mornings. Getting an early start to your day means that you are setting up your intentions for the day to come; you won’t be in a rush and you won’t feel stressed, knowing that you are on time and on schedule. You will have more time to plan out your day, organize yourself and check your to-do list. Have something to look forward to every morning- that will make it easier for you to get out of bed (you can also try the 5-4-3-2-1 method).
Having a healthy morning ritual is something that I talk about often in these types of posts, but that’s because it’s something that has made a HUGE difference for me in how I handle stress and my day-to-day tasks. Every morning, as I get up early, I drink my green tea, I write in my journal, I set my intentions for the day and I tell myself that “today is going to be an amazing day.” This means that I [almost] always start the day on a positive note and that just sets my mood for the day.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t always a morning person. My mornings often felt rushed and disorganized.
My mornings were… messy.
I mean, I remember once driving to work and being in such a rush that I forgot to put my shoes on and left the house wearing slippers (true story, by the way). When I started doing things like practicing gratitude daily, writing in a journal, it felt a bit…. sill. I’ll admit it. Today, I can’t imagine my life without those things.
Create a morning ritual for yourself that will help you feel positive and inspired, every day. And no, I don’t mean scrolling through Pinterest in search of inspirational quotes. Quite the opposite, in fact. Don’t reach for your phone and start checking your emails or Twitter feed, first thing in the morning. Instead, try practicing some mindfulness, be present. A mindful living will help you be more productive as it improves your focus, and that, in turn, will get you closer to reaching your goals.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE + KEEP A SCHEDULE
By prioritizing certain aspects of your life and creating a routine, you’ll get things done in a stress-free environment. Not every person is the same, so my ideal routine might be a lot different from yours. The point is: creating a routine is crucial. I get asked all the time how do I manage to work full-time and run this blog. The key is establishing a good routine. By coming up with a routine you’re setting yourself up for success- you work on your goals during the same time each day and as you get used to this practice, you will accomplish your goals faster. You won’t have to “find” time to do what’s important- as you create your routine, that time will be there.
Staying disciplined also requires a lot of focus and I, unfortunately, get distracted very easily. I realize that it’s a problem for a lot of us these days. I mean, we’re constantly being fed with information and there seem to be so many new things we want to know and learn- it’s nearly impossible to focus on a single task. This is why I schedule everything- and I mean everything– as far as my work and personal goals are concerned. I time-block and stick to my schedule- that’s how I keep myself in check.
-7 Habits to Quit to Be More Successful
– How to Make Habits Stick
-5 Things to Focus on When You’ve Lost Your Motivation
-3 Things to do Slower
You might think you’re good at multitasking, but you’re probably not (sorry). Researchers at Stanford University found that those of us who regularly use several streams of electronic information cannot control our memory, pay attention or switch from one job to another, as well as those who work on one task at a time. You might think that you’re getting a lot more done by multitasking, but chances are you’re not as efficient as when focusing only on one thing. I also noticed that when trying to multitask at work (especially in an office environment) I waste time doing things like proofreading, double-checking my work and confirming that I actually did what I was supposed to. It’s like working on an important project while also helping out a co-worker and talking to a client on the phone. When doing three things at once, you cannot give any of them 100% of your attention.
Here’s something to remember: being busy, and being productive are two different things. Setting up boundaries- especially when it comes to your workplace, is important. When working on something important, communicate with your colleagues. Let them know you’re on a deadline and you’ll be less likely to be disturbed. Minimizing noise and digital distractions will also help you stay focused.
SET DAILY GOALS
It doesn’t have to be anything big; just small daily goals. Your goals might involve health, home, self-improvement or they can also be work-related- small goals facilitate progress. Setting big, ambitious goals is great, but focusing on accomplishing those smaller tasks, will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or disappointed when experiencing a setback. Break down your “big” goals into smaller ones and take baby steps. Ask yourself, “what can I do today, that will bring me closer to my goals?” The best way to do this is to set up a list of priorities for the day, every morning. Keep the list of priorities short though, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
It’s not enough to “set” those goals though. It’s not enough to create a list and say “hey look at all my goals, I’m killing it!” It’s not enough to write them down and talk about them for a little while. You do that, and you’ll end up going nowhere. You actually need to get to work.
KEEP A JOURNAL
To keep track of your progress, document your success- however small or big it might be, write down your goals, quotes that inspire you, things that you’re grateful for. When you’re trying to accomplish something, it doesn’t always come to you overnight. In fact, in almost never happens overnight. Success is usually a result of hard, consistent work.
Remember that changing habits is (almost never) easy. It’s a simple concept- take a habit, replace it with a new one- but it’s not easy. Don’t try to change everything at once- you’ll feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
What are some of your “big goals”? Can you identify any smaller objectives you can start working on today? What are some things that you’ve been putting off, forever? Getting your driver’s license? Changing jobs? Ending a messy relationship? Getting in shape? Reading more books?
Whatever your goals are, ask yourself, right now: “what can I do today, to get me closer to where I want to be?“
Kiri YanchenkoJune 6, 2017 at 7:19 pm
I always set daily goals – Like I need to email these people, and complete this article, go here during lunch and go to the gym after work.
Set to Glow
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:23 am
That’s awesome! Sounds like you have a great routine, such a good way to ensure you get everything done.
Alicia SJune 6, 2017 at 7:19 pm
I really need to create a morning routine, it’s just slightly difficult at the moment as I rarely have anything planned during the day and instead have busy evenings.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:26 am
Make it a late-morning routine hehe :) You can totally adjust it to your schedule :)
MarianneJune 7, 2017 at 1:37 am
I have a morning routine that works for me: I always start the day with a 20-minute yoga sequence and a big healthy breakfast. It is definitely a good start but then often my day gets very hectic and I get easily stressed with a lot of thing on my mind. To start keeping a journal has been on my mind for ages – Thank you for this inspiring and motivating post :)
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:28 am
That sounds like a perfect morning routine! Journaling can definitely help when you feel like everything gets a little hectic- meditation helps me out too. I’m very prone to stress (tend to take everything very personally) and meditation has been a lifesaver for me. Thank you so much Marianne! :)
Aleksandra // bunniesaremagicJune 7, 2017 at 3:29 am
For everyone who might have had any doubts on these tips: I still remember how ridiculous I found the idea of getting up an hour earlier just so that I can have a proper morning before work when I first found this advice from Paula, but oh my, it has completely transformed my entire life o.o I’d never thought I could cheer for pre 6am wake up, but here I am, super happy about it :)
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:32 am
Yess I remember that haha! :) That is so awesome, so happy to hear that it works so well for you. I always tell everyone: change your mornings, change your life haha :)
Ariadna MorellJune 7, 2017 at 3:29 am
I’ve switched my usual Instagram scroll first thing in the morning for a book, i’ve noticed that it makes me less tired and I feel fresher when I get out of bed! x
Ariadna || RAWR BOWS
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:33 am
Love that! Switching to a book sounds like an amazing idea. I always try to delay looking at my phone for as long as possible haha ;)
AnaJune 7, 2017 at 6:42 am
I think establishing a routine and stick to it it’s key for success! I really like the tips you give xxx
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:34 am
Thank you so much Ana!
Linda Libra LocaJune 7, 2017 at 9:12 am
I am an early riser as well, and I am very disciplind. These two things help me a lot when it comes to achieving my goals.
Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 7, 2017 at 9:35 am
I think as much as you get done every day, you have to be disciplined :) Always admire that about you; working, blogging, making videos and taking care of your little ones- can’t get it all done without some good self-discipline ;)
Linda Libra LocaJune 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm
And the odd pizza and asleep by nine on the couch-evening thrown in for good measure.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 8, 2017 at 9:18 pm
Haha, love it! :)
DomJune 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm
One thing that I am working on is limiting my distractions and staying focused. I am now allowing my phone to die and when it does, I “die” with it, meaning I won’t be tempted to logon to my accounts and use the rest of the time to do something productive. I could definitely work on rising earlier! Thanks for sharing your tips.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 8, 2017 at 9:19 pm
It does feel like technology is taking over our lives sometimes- especially our phones. Love the idea of letting your phone run out of battery- don’t know if I’d be able to let that happen lol but I do turn it off all the time ;)
Rachel VaughanJune 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm
I find I get so much more done when I do not have my phone beside me. PS Love the idea of daily goals. We forget how quickly achieving those little goals can add up and lead to success.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm
It definitely helps to keep the phone out of reach. I sometimes find myself reaching for it for no other reason, than to distract myself :)
CarolineJune 12, 2017 at 6:24 am
Love this post!
I am totally with you and a good schedule and routine is so good for the mind!
Something I definitely need to get back on track with.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Thank you so much Caroline!
Tonisha LoganJune 8, 2020 at 8:49 am
1st entry in my journal will be that I’m grateful for your article. Great way to start my new lifestyle. Thank you!
PaulaJuly 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Aww! You are so sweet and kind, Tonisha! So glad you enjoyed this post, and thank you so much for reading! x