How to get more out of your day AND stay on track

- March 31, 2020 3 MIN READ

If we tried to do all the things that the media, bloggers and even friends and family suggest to do to live a healthy life, it would be a full-time job.

Quite often the mere thought of the number of things that this quite literally entails is truly overwhelming – with the end result being no action and you not doing a single one of them of any given day. You might also need to have a good long lie down to deal with the thought of it all.

There is nothing more frustrating than getting to the end of that day and wishing that you had been able to do all the stuff you really wanted to.

How CAN you get more out of your day?

Be as fresh as a daisy

After breathing, sleep is our most fundamental need. It’s also the first thing we are willing to give up in an effort to get more done. The fact is, that even small amounts of sleep deprivation makes us vastly less efficient. Not to mention the fact that no one wants anything to do with you because you are so cranky.

If you are not currently sleeping at least 7 hours each night, look at what you need to do to make that a reality, and then start pushing your bedtime earlier by 15 minutes each night until it becomes natural. Make getting 7-8 hours sleep your highest priority and your desire to make the most of each day skyrockets.

Don’t forget to tick off the basics to get a good sleep including a dark, dark room that is not too hot and not too cold (think Goldilocks), switch off devices at least one hour before shut-eye and perhaps a warm shower that can assist with making your body temperature just right for sleep time.

Be like a postage stamp – stick to one thing

In our time poor world, it is so easy to get caught up in trying to do twenty things at the same time, aka multi-tasking. Hordes of us believe that this is a prized skill and do the proverbial octopus dance every day.

Clinical research shows that the reality of multi-tasking is quite different.

We are not wired to juggle several tasks at a time because we just can’t concentrate and focus on any of them, resulting in lacklustre performance and complete and utter lack of effectiveness while at work or home. Focus on one thing at a time and you will be amazed at how quickly and effectively you can complete a task or job and actually get them done. Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness because although it may be possible to many things quickly, it doesn’t mean you are doing
them at all well.

Weave movement ‘moments’ into your day

Motivation comes and goes just like the tide – it is something that we need to practice, cultivate and develop every day. Exercising regularly releases those lovely endorphins, which then enhances our motivation to cement other healthy habits like eating well.

The bonus prize is that research shows that we are more productive in the two hours after exercise with a 24-hour improvement overall. Oh and the best type of exercise is the one that you will actually do. It isn’t the one that your friends or next door neighbour might try and entice you to do when you would rather poke a stick in your eye than actually do that particular type of exercise.

Let’s make it easy though. What about 5-minute bites like skipping, trampoline, stairs in your home or work building, legs up the wall or a walk outside the office for lunch?

Write out your top three for the day

One of my clever friends, also CEO of a business, once gave me some very valuable advice. Before you finish up for the day, write your to do list for tomorrow. If you start your day without a list in front of you, walk out of the room and don’t come back until you have one. What are your top three for the day?

Concentrate on concentrating

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova once said ‘I just try to concentrate on concentrating.’ Martina, I hear you.

Once you have your plan for the day, this is exactly what you need to do. If you are working solo it is so easy to get distracted with the myriad of non-urgent, nice to do but definitely not essential tasks that surround you.

Once you have written your Top Three for the Day and noted the blocks of time you are working through, added your break times every 90 minutes (at the most) – it’s time to get cracking and do that concentrating.

Routine can seem very ho-hum at times but that’s exactly why it is so effective and after a while you get really good at it.

Author: Julie Meek, performance coach, and founder of Julie Meek.


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