By Thanh Pham

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By Thanh Pham

Image via MeMyselfandThem

It can be a challenge to jumpstart your productivity every day. That certainly was the case for me, given I had no record of consistency. Some days I would start off being productive, but for the majority of days, I just wasn’t. Over the years, talking, interacting, and living with productive friends (who are all self-help junkies like myself), I’ve noticed they all do similar things in the morning. Naturally, I started doing what they do. What one man can do, another man can do, too. Right? After practicing this method myself, I’ve come up with tried-and-tested ways to get yourself in a productive mode every single day. Here are five really simple and easy steps to jumpstart your day for maximum productivity:
  1. Stoke the fire. Before we can get any work done, we have to warm ourselves up in preparation. After you first wake up, your body and mind are just warming up, so-to-speak, and these are exactly the personal components we want to “warm up” before we start working. It’s like stoking a fire: you need to warm the coal, bit by bit, before the fire really gets going. Your physical energy is your main source of fuel, and by freshening ourselves up for the day, we can stoke this crucial source of personal energy. Some people prefer to exercise before they start their workday. Others just need to use the bathroom and change their clothes before starting their day. Find out what your own energizing morning routine is, and do it every morning before you start your day. By building consistency into your routine, you will discover that it will get easier and easier to start your day.
  2. Upgrade yourself. After “stoking the fire,” especially if you have exercised, is a great time to relax and upgrade your skills. Anything that will help you relax, further your education or calm your mind would be good to do at this time. Over time, this dedication to upgrading your skills will improve your performance in various aspects of life. Your productivity will increase as you learn to do things smarter, more efficiently and in less time.
Meditation is a good way to spend your time before you go to the next step. Reading a book, reviewing notes and reading inspirational quotes are some my personal favorite activities. Oftentimes the nuggets you pick up during this time will affect how you get your work done that day. Perhaps reading one chapter in a book changes your view on how you should do things, or an inspirational quote gets you excited about your future. We often neglect to create time to educate ourselves, so doing it in the morning (when there are little to no distractions) is the best time to do it.
  1. Write down what you want to do today. In order for you to get work done, you have to be absolutely clear on what you want to achieve with actionable steps. When you don’t know how to achieve your outcome, it becomes a harder, if not impossible, to reach it. It’s like driving a car in foggy weather. Sure you might reach the destination, but you will go very slowly and with hesitancy. Instead, when you know exactly what to do, it’s like driving in sunny weather with a GPS next to you. When you know what to do and when to do it, you’ll be more motivated and reach your destination much faster.
Now that you know the outcome that you want, break it down into actionable steps. Once you have the steps, decide which ones you are going to do first, and write them down.
  1. Visualize the consequences. One of the most powerful ways to overcome procrastination is by visualizing the consequences of your actions. Anything you do of importance will have (major) consequences for your life, be it positive or negative. By focusing on the positive consequences, you can muster your own motivation.
Tony Robbins is famous for saying that we either move away from pain or we move toward pleasure. Would you get yourself started if you knew that doing steps X, Y and Z would make you a millionaire? Of course you would, as the positive consequences of possessing a million dollars are obvious. The reverse is also true, in situations in which pain can act as a motivator. Would you act on your work if you knew not doing A, B, and C would disappoint your family and friends? I thought so!

Before you do anything, take a moment to visualize the consequences. See how the various potential consequences can motivate you to get to work. Especially focus on the positive consequences, because they will be your mental fuel for motivation.
  1. Do it – If you’ve come this far in the steps for maximum productivity, you’re probably already more productive than most people. However, what separates the best from the rest is execution. At this point you’re way beyond the tipping point, and now it’s time to get the snowball rolling. You have yourself set up for a productive day, the roadmap is in hand, you have visualized what the consequences could be, and the only thing remaining to do is to take action. So let’s get to work!
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