Sometimes, it can feel like having just 24 hours in a day isn't enough. But, the pros say, some simple tasks done in advance can prepare you for the next day and free up some much-needed time in your schedule.
"I set myself up to win for the next day," says Keita Williams, the founder and chief strategist of Success Bully, a service that assists women trying to keep up with their career goals. "I don't wake up in the morning and decide then what I'm going to do. Instead I map out my strategy for the day the night before."
Here are a few simple tasks that can help boost your productivity and make you feel more organized.
Cooking for yourself or your family can be time consuming, but preparing three to four meals at once can free up a few blocks of time within your schedule.
Not only will you be able to think through your meals a bit more and make healthier or better tasting dishes, but having a few days worth of meals stocked up will relieve the last minute stress that comes with not knowing what's in your pantry or what you intend to feed your family or yourself that night.
You don't have to get too ambitious, either: Even chopping up vegetables or defrosting any meat you plan to cook the next day can be a major time saver.
Video by Jason Armesto
Sleep is essential to being productive. Figure out a reasonable hour to go to bed and then follow through, making sure you disconnect from any electronic devices that could serve as a distraction.
"Sleep is a rhythm," Dr. Frank Lipman, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City told Grow in 2019. This means that any disruption, even if it's an extra hour one night, can result in worse sleep.
Practice the same habits before bed each night so that you can train your body to know that when you take a bath, or pick up the book on your nightstand and read, it's time to start unwinding. You might also take this time to journal or meditate. Find something that relaxes you and make it a habit before bed each night.
You'll be well rested and feel ready to take on the day ahead.
Keeping a daily planner can be a good way to keep track of all of the errands you need to finish, and it can also be an effective way to keep your finances in order.
"Make it part of your daily habit," Kelly Smith of Freedom In A Budget told Grow in January. "Set aside time every morning when you first wake up, or every night before bed, to revisit your planner and update it or track your progress."
This will give you a clear idea of what goals you're striving to complete in the days ahead. Having a set of tasks in listed out in your planner can ensure that you're making the best use of your time.
This can even be a time to set larger goals and brainstorm about ways to make them happen.
Avoid the early morning scramble of dressing yourself or your little ones by picking out outfits in advance.
Setting aside a few minutes every evening to pick out an outfit for whatever you have planned for the next day is a good way to make sure you're dressed appropriately for the weather and for the events you have planned for the following day. Preparing in this way can also mean an extra few minutes of sleep in the morning that you'll be thankful for later.
"I call it 'ruling your time,'" Williams told Grow in January. "When you rule your time, you get to decide how to make your time have the most impact."
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