Do you find yourself drifting through your days? At the end of the day, do you ask yourself, “what did I even accomplish?” I have learned over time that the accomplishment of a productive day leads to a good night’s sleep and another productive day. During the pandemic, it’s easy to lose sight of our goals and lose track of time. Throughout my career, I have used 7 daily behaviors to gain the most productivity in my days. I have found, that even in these challenging days when I sometimes forget what day it is, these actions help me feel productive and accomplished.

It all began when my former boss gave me some feedback early in my career. Imagine this: Every day I would get up and hurriedly get myself ready for work and then I would awaken my three sons, get them dressed and fed and together we would take off for three different drop-off locations. I felt like a Marine, doing “more before 6:00 a.m. than most people do all day.” I was pretty stressed and harried before I arrived at work. That’s really not a good look for a leader.  My boss made a suggestion. He said, “I don’t know what you do before you get to work, but you need to change your habits so that when you arrive, you are more positive.” He then went on to describe for me how he begins his day. From that day on, I changed my morning routine.

Since retiring from corporate life and starting my own company, I have expanded the morning routine to a daily routine that maximizes my energy to accomplish my goals. These habits have exponentially grown my productivity and my effectiveness. Here is the rhythm of my day:

7 Habits to a Productive Day

  1. Pray. I start everyday with personal quiet time. I pray, read something uplifting, journal and practice being still.
  2. Exercise. Morning exercise is best for me. I like to get all of the endorphins going before heading into the next important part of my day.
  3. Create. After getting my heart and soul settled and firing up my energy and spirit with exercise, I am ready to focus on creating content for my clients and audiences. I use my use this part of the day to write books, blog, prepare speeches and anything else requiring creative energy.
  4. Engage. Once the creative juices are firing, my work day begins and it’s time to engage with clients or interview on a podcast. This is my best time of the day to deliver a talk or participate on virtual panel.
  5. Respond. By the time I arrive at this part of the day, my energy is starting to wane. I use this time for activities that require less creativity such as responding to routine email, paying bills, other administrative tasks and returning phone calls.
  6. Relate. My workday is ending and it’s time to relate to family and friends. I enjoy dinner and socializing at the end of a productive day. Since, I followed my routine and completed tasks and achieved goals, it feels like a reward for hard work to relax and have fun.
  7. Reflect. Each night I spend a few minutes reviewing the day, mentally assessing highs and lows and end my day with the way it started pausing for a few minutes in prayer.

These habits have served me well and allow me to accomplish my goals, fulfill my various roles and enjoy my life along the way. As time goes on, I have treasured that advice from my boss because it transformed the way I approach every single day. It worked and not only did I become much more positive, I also became much more productive.