Productive DayWould it be nice if we all could wake up insanely early, like 4 in the morning or earlier for a focused and unhurried time, leading to a productive day?

Sure, but most of us probably can’t, or won’t. But all is not lost. Spending just 30 minutes to an hour the night before, organizing and planning, can make a world of difference in how we start our day and how productive and creative we are during the day.

The “night before” can be either late at night when everything’s quieted down or at the end of the day after you’ve completed that day’s work and before leaving the office. Use this time to checklist the tasks completed today and create a new checklist for the next day. If you’re on the Agile system, this is especially useful, so you’re prepared for the morning’s “standup” without scrambling when you get into work.

You can go one step further and start a project that requires a no-interruption block of time which is generally difficult to get during the regular work day. For me, it’s writing. When I take the time to choose a topic, do a bit of research and create an outline, completing a post or other writing project the next day, even with inevitable interruptions, doesn’t stretch into hours on end.

The one exception is checking email, especially late at night before going to sleep. That can quickly send you down a rabbit hole, causing anxiety and affecting a quality night’s sleep, which will result in reduced productivity the next day.

So, if you’re not a natural early riser, productivity doesn’t have to suffer. Just get a head start the night before.

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