7 Tips for a More Productive Day – Plus a Free Printable To Do List

Stay on Task and Have a More Productive Day

Life is crazy and a lot can happen in one day. Many of us often look back through our day and think, “what did I accomplish today?” Most days we can budget our time better, plan for the day, and accomplish more than we thought capable.Changing a few habits can help you have a more productive day.

God for some reason decided to bless me with the ability to get a lot done in one day. The school year that I was pregnant, I was teaching multiple math classes, was the sponsor of our Fellowship of Christian Athletes group that met two mornings a week, I tutored kids on the other mornings, coached cross country after school and on Saturday’s, attended church services multiple times a week, and took care of my household duties such as cleaning and cooking. I certainly was not perfect at any of them and am not telling you this to brag on myself.

Really the glory goes to God. It is only through him that I was able to do everything and do it well. He gave me the ability to plan, organize and stay on task. I would like to share with you some things that can help you develop more productive habits. Here are 7 tips that I use that will help you have a more productive day.

#1 Spend Time With Jesus

Read your Bible, do a devotional, spend time in prayer, or even better do all three. Spending time with the Lord not only builds your relationship with him but he will give you the time back. On the days I spend time with him I get more accomplished. It’s seriously almost like magic. He acknowledges when I spend time with him and strengthens our relationship by helping me accomplish my task during the day. It doesn’t hurt that I pray “please help me get stuff done today!”

#2 Get Going in the Morning

Mornings spent cuddling under the covers are meant for Saturday’s and those who don’t have small children. (Small children = no choice.) Get up and get going. This could be as simple as getting dressed and making a small breakfast for you and the family or getting a work out in.

When I stick to a morning routine it seems to set the tone for the rest of the day. I have more down time in the evening because I didn’t waste my morning. I get more done of these days compared to the days where I laid around procrastinating the day by watching cartoons with my daughter or surfing the web.

#3 Plan Out Your Day

Plan out your day and write it down. On the days when I make a to do list I accomplish more than on the days where I just wing it. When I don’t make a list I find I jump from task to task and I am unfocused. I get to the end of the day and I have all of these half finished projects. I can guarantee you will get distracted by something during the day, whether you are in the office, or at home. When things are written down you can go back to your list and go “Oh yeah! That’s what I’m supposed to be doing.”

I like to use a pretty and already organized to do list. I made this free printable to do list so that you can use it too!  Pretty paper makes everything better.

** It’s important to remember that sometimes what you plan for the day will change and that is OKAY! The first thing I do when I wake up is start planning my day out in my head. I get a bit frazzled when something comes up and I have to change my plans. At least once a week I have to change my dinner plans at the last minute. I’ve learned that part of being productive is being able to be flexible when something pops up. That dinner I planned can wait until tomorrow and Charlee will be okay if she has to wait one more day for a bath.

#4 Put Your Phone Down

Technology can be a huge distraction! Social media is always calling my name and I have to force myself to put it down. It’s a total time sucker. Go put your phone down in the other room. I only charge my phone in the bedroom. I stay on task more while it is in the other room being charged. You will survive if you don’t see who has “liked” your latest post until later. You can leave the ring tone on, in case someone really needs to get a hold of you. If you are in the office you can keep it in a drawer or closet. Once you start a task try to keep going until you finish it. Putting your phone out of reach is a huge help.

#5 Plan for a Break

Everyone needs a break during the day. Take a break to browse social media, go outside and get some fresh air, get a work out in, play with the kids, call a friend, or say a prayer. Whatever it is, breaks are important for your mental health. Also, if taking a break is in your daily plan you will be more likely to avoid one of those impromptu, never ending breaks. This happens to the best of use. I promise it can be avoided.

#6 Plan for Tomorrow

Don’t stress if you don’t get everything done that you wanted to. There is always tomorrow. Jot down a few things you don’t want to forget to do tomorrow. This will keep it from playing over and over again in your mind while you’re trying to get to sleep. This bring me to my next tip.

#7 Get Some Sleep!

I don’t know about you but without sleep my brain is complete mush and I work at half the speed. Getting a good night’s rest is crucial to having a productive day. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This will help your body get into a routine. I know you have heard this before and we all know sleep is important. Despite knowing this, we are all guilty of staying up too late to watch Netflix. Go to sleep! This way you can feel more refreshed and ready to go in the morning.

There are a lot of different things you can do to help yourself manage your time. I hope you find at least one of these things helpful. What do you do to make your day more productive? I would enjoy reading some of your tips in the comments below.

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Want to learn more about how to simplify your life? I want to help you stay on top of those day-to-day tasks and stay healthy doing it. Subscribe to my weekly updates and gain access to all my free printables.

38 Comments

  1. Louise

    July 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

    These are all fantastic tips for a productive day. I do most of them, but usually lie in for a couple of hours in a morning as my youngest only sleeps for a few hours max, so I need to catch up on some zeds when I can 🙂

    Louise x

    1. KatiesKottage

      July 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Louise, I know how that goes! That is probably the hardest one for me to follow. My 18 month old is just now starting to sleep through the night. Before recently I was just doing what I could. 🙂 Hopefully you get more sleep soon.

  2. Shannon Gurnee

    June 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    These are definitely some great tips for having a more productive day! I definitely do a few of these and they help a lot to have a good and productive day!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks Shannon. Wishing you another productive day. 🙂

  3. Heather

    June 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I’m a big list maker and love this printable! Summer is a tough time to feel like you’re making progress on that growing to do list.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      Yes! Summer is always the hardest time to get things done even though it seems we have more free time.

  4. Glenda

    June 29, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Hmm, this is awesome! I never thought of making my own planner. Thank you for the Free Printable To Do List sheet!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      You are very welcome Glenda. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  5. katriza

    June 29, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Love these printables! I struggle with getting enough done with my time and this is a great way to get on top of that!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 29, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Kartiza, good luck getting things done!

  6. Brandi with Big Fit Fam

    June 29, 2017 at 12:01 am

    I really need to be more productive, so far this summer has kicked my butt! putting down the phone is a big one…I need to stop checking facebook and email and DO something!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 29, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Brandi! It can be such a time sucker and we don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late! I’ve been trying to have set times during the day for when I check facebook, email, etc.

  7. Misty Nelson

    June 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Love these ideas! Such great tips, and I’m always looking for ways to be more productive. Working from home is hard and with a little one my time is limited so I need to get the most done in what little time I have.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Little ones do bring a whole new challenge. It’s always a mad rush during nap time!

  8. andrea

    June 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    i love planning, it literally makes me feel more at peace knowing there are ways to keep things the way they are supposed to be and list are my go to best friends. LIKE i love them.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Andrea, you must be a very productive person. 🙂

  9. Blythe Alpern

    June 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I’ve definitely found that putting my phone down or turning off notifications help keep me more productive. Too many interruptions and my day can be derailed.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Blythe that is exactly how I feel! I’m glad you figured this out. It took me awhile. Since I started blogging I was always on my phone. Now most of my notifications are off and it helps so much!

  10. Charlotte

    June 28, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I am definitely a big planner because I have quite a lot to fit into a day but I love these extra helpful tips

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Charlotte, seems like we both love to plan. I hope these tips helped. I know there are not new ideas but it always helps me to be reminded of the things I should be doing each day.

  11. reesa

    June 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

    With the kids home, I really need to make to do lists that can get the max done. I am going to use your tips!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Reesa! With my little one I find it helps to be flexible. She doesn’t mind when I do chores that require me to move around so I do those while she is playing and let her “help.”

  12. Angela Tolsma

    June 28, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Sleep is definitely the number one thing that affects my productivity. Also ensuring I get time to myself because nothing recharges me more than a yoga session involving me and my thoughts.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Yes! Sleep and time to your self is so important. I’m glad you’ve found something that helps you recharge.

  13. Cindy Ingalls

    June 28, 2017 at 1:45 am

    I’m not the best at planning out my entire day, though I try to be. I do use a planner, which does help me see which tasks need to be done each week. A list like this might make my day run a lot smoother.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Cindy, I really do think it helps. You have to find what works best for you. 🙂

  14. Journa Ramirez

    June 27, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    I love #4 and I should improve myself in fulfilling it. Holding my phone makes me do my tasks slower and less effective. Thanks for reminding me!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Your welcome Journa! It’s such a hard habit to break. I have to remind myself every day to put it out of reach.

  15. Jalisa Harris

    June 27, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Preplanning out my day definitely helps me tackle everything. From blogging to personal.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 27, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Absolutely Jalisa. The days I plan things out are so much more productive than the days that I don’t.

  16. Terri Steffes

    June 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    That planning for tomorrow is KEY. I go to bed assured that I won’t forget anything important!

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 27, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      Yes! It’s so great that you do that. If I don’t write things down for tomorrow I’ll forget about it and days will go by before I’m like… oops I need to do that asap!

  17. Melissa Chapman

    June 27, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Great tips although I am not a list maker. I can’t believe how productive you have been and how you use the whole day and make it work, when did you sleep?

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 27, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      The only thing that keeps me from sleeping is a little one who wakes up. I get everything done and have time to spare. Down time is just as important as getting everything done. I just focus on getting everything done and then resting. 🙂

  18. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    June 27, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I only plan out portions of my day. I plan out my work, and when we are homeschooling, I plan out my daughters school activities. I really should plan out other parts of my day because things run so much smoother in my life where I’ve planned them out.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 27, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Joanna! Yes, it seems crazy to plan out everything but it really does help. It’s easy to plan the important thins like school and activities but then I feel like the day to day task get lost in the shuffle. That’s why I plan those too. 🙂

  19. robin rue

    June 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I always plan out my day. I am the QUEEN of lists, so I plot out my day the night before. It makes life so much easier.

    1. KatiesKottage

      June 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Robin, it really does make life so much easier. Nice to know there is another lover of list out there!

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