10 Excellent Hacks to Create a Productive Week

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

How to create a productive week? Read this!

“I never have enough time in the day!” Or, “I am so stressed! I have so much on my plate!”

Can you relate? If so, you’re not alone. The majority of people say they’ve agreed to take on more tasks than they can actually get done on their to-do lists.

Enter: Maximizing your time with these 10 Hacks to Create a Productive Week

Let’s do it!

10 Smart Hacks to Create a Productive Week

Productive Week - Young Couple Happily Doing Exercise

#1. ESTABLISH CONSISTENT ROUTINES

When looking to structure your week and increase your productivity, there’s a few “essentials” that can serve as “rocket fuel” for showing up your best self.

a. A morning routine.

Forget about testosterone cypionate buy the cutesy Pinterest tips with the long lists of things you “should” be doing. If you’re trying to do all the things (run, shower, clean the kitchen, do a long devotion, etc.), you’re gonna burn out real quick. Instead, think of 2 to 3 things you can commit to doing consistently. (This doesn’t include the natural things you always do, like shower or brush your teeth).

Maybe your 3 things are drinking warm lemon water, moving your body and reading your Bible. Or drink celery juice, move your body and listen to an encouraging podcast. Maybe you choose one thing that’s a physical activity and one that’s mental health-related. Whatever you choose, do them before you touch your device. And remember to be flexible and grace-based with it!

b. A bedtime routine.

This doesn’t have to be a long thing. I don’t do a face mask with cucumbers and take a long hot shower. For a while, I would do a short hot shower with music and then drink a cold glass of water to relax. Now my main thing is reading before bed for 10-15 minutes. Whatever it looks like for you, choose one thing to focus on. Then you can add a second thing later. And consider turning your phone off an hour before bed, so you don’t get distracted.

c. A weekly power hour.

This doesn’t have to take a whole hour. Just take some time on the weekend to sit down and map out your week. See what’s on your schedule, add anything you need to do, and plan some healthy meals.

This doesn’t need to be super regimented. Think of it as an overview of your week. It’ll help you get prepared for the week, so things don’t fall through the cracks or stress you out by the time you get to Wednesday.

#2. MAKE SPACE FOR “BREATH BREAKS” 

Every single day, outside of your morning and bedtime routine, make space for at least one breath break—a time in your day to literally take a “breath”, reenergize, refocus and take a break from screens, noise and stress. This could look like a daily yoga session, a walk outside, time spent with a friend, space to create (write, paint, build), etc. Every day, without fail, I know I will find myself in a yoga class (or 2) at some point during the day. Ghandi once said, “Whenever I don’t have enough time in the day, I mediate for 2 hours instead of 1.” Well, two hours of yoga “parts the Red Sea” for time in my day. 

#3. ANCHOR YOUR DAY

Productive Week - Woman Relaxing

Use anchor times. Choose a handful of consistent anchor times (AKA periods of time that will anchor and ground your day, even when every day looks different). You’re essentially deciding that you’d do certain things each day of the week at the same time each day.

For example, you’d decide when you wake up, eat lunch, eat dinner, work out, and go to bed. Maybe you’ll wake up every day at 6 am, eat lunch every day at 1, have dinner at 7, and go to bed at 10:30. You can also use this to set expectations for your family. You may decide that everyone eats dinner together between 5 and 6, so no one plans anything at that time. 

#4. TIME BLOCK YOUR CALENDAR

In addition to anchoring your day, use time blocking in your calendar. This is especially useful if you have different projects you’re working on. Most humans have about a 3 to 4 hour limit capacity of “deep work” they can accomplish at once, so time blocking helps you maximize this to eliminate distractions. You may block off 9-12 pm every day of the work week so you can focus on a specific project. You can even put your phone on airplane mode and x-out of all the tabs on your computer during that time, so you can really focus.

Then you might block some time for lunch or the gym And then you may block 2-4 pm for meetings, so your assistant knows to schedule appointments during that time bock. Maybe you’ll choose specific time blocks for correspondence work, like responding to emails. This will really allow you to communicate to others when you’re available and it allows you to batch work and do get some deep work done. I also save personal “to do’s” (like online shopping, bill paying, trip planning, etc.) for non-work hours so as not to disrupt my workday flow.

#5. MAXIMIZE YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM

Everybody has an innate biological clock that determines the “best” times of the day to accomplish various tasks. Typically, the human body is wired to do the most “productive” creative or brain-demanding work in the morning before 1 or 2, and more task-oriented, checklist work in the afternoon (followed maybe by a spurt of creative energy later in the day. There’s not one size fits all approach, however, when you tap into your personal circadian “strengths”, it can be a game changer for getting more done in less time and enjoying your work in the process. 

#6. DO HARD THINGS FIRST

That thing you keep procrastinating? Do it first so you can move on to the fun stuff!

#7. CREATE A TO-DON’T LIST

Productive Week - Woman Doing A List

You know all about to do lists…but have you ever looked at your to do list and thought, “what are my priorities?”—the things that will move the needle forward today or this week? Pick your top 1-3 things to focus on each day and top 1-3 things to focus on each week, and put the rest of your “to do’s” on the shelf for later. You can also create “to do” and “to don’t” lists for a couple areas of your life—work and personal—to help keep them separate. 

#8. DELETE OR HIDE SOCIAL MEDIA & NEWS APPS ON YOUR PHONE

“Social media made me more productive” #SaidNoOneEVER. Create a barrier for checking the apps on your phone 24/7. While you’re at it, turn off most (all) notifications from the various apps and programs on your computer and phone. #PeaceofMind 

#9. SPRINKLE IN “FUN”

In the midst of checklists and to-do’s, it’s super easy to forget about having fun! If we are “all work” and no play however, that gets old really fast. Pop question: What was the best part about your day yesterday? Or today? Very rarely do I say, “I got alot of stuff done on my to do list!” Or, “I am so happy that I had 4 hour-long meetings.”

My personal favorite parts of the day usually have something to do with: connecting to people, a fun workout class or event I attended, catching up on the phone with my sister or best friend, going on a walk after work with a friend, doing one of my hobbies, etc. Remember the oxygen mask theory? In order to help others, we must first help ourselves…including some “joy” in the day. 

#10. PRACTICE THE “AS IF” MINDSET

So as we think, therefore we become. Want to have a productive week? Or be as successful as Tony Robbins or Beyonce? Make $100,000 each month? Go to the CrossFit Games or Olympics? Feel more energized? Visualize exactly what you want and how you want to feel and put on the mindset of that person who has those habits and lifestyle. Pretend you are them until you become it. So as we think, therefore we become. 

Want support in up leveling your health, inside and out (schedule included)? Book a complimentary Health Strategy call today with our functional medicine health and coaching practice to help you optimize from the inside out.

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