When it comes to filling up our days with meaningful activity, who doesn't want to make the most of their free time? For inspiration, it can help to look at the everyday habits of productive people. Whether you want to get more work done at the office or want to incorporate more personal activity into your life, you can learn a lot from the daily routines of those who seem to always get the job done.
Although there's no one-size-fits-all recipe for success, productive people tend to follow general patterns that help get them the right mindset and maximize their potential possibilities. Productivity also doesn't mean guzzling down coffee and shoving as much work as you can into one day — anyone who has done this knows how exhausting and counterproductive that ends up being. Instead, it's about balancing your time to make the most out of what you have to offer.
"Productive people know the value of their time," says productivity expert Penny Zenker to Bustle over email. "They know their strengths and weaknesses. They delegate as much as possible to create leverage and make the best and highest use of their time. They say no often."
If you're looking for some inspiration to get a little bit more done each day, consider these seven daily habits of productive people — and maybe try picking them up yourself!
1. They Write A To-Do List Each Night
"People who make lists the night before have an advantage because everything they are handling or need to get done is fresh and in their thoughts," says psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC over email. "Then in the morning, they get a quick start to their day because they don't have to go back and rethink where they left off the day before."
2. They Wake Up At The Same Time Every Day
"Early risers get more done as there are often less distractions, and they have more workday hours to be productive," says Coleman. A study from the American Psychological Association journal, Emotion found that early risers are happier, healthier, and more productive than night owls.
3. They Take Lunch Breaks
"Working through lunch doesn't make you a super-human — it just makes you a human who has skipped lunch," says Rashelle Isip, Organization, Time Management & Productivity Consultant over email. "It's highly important to step away from your desk or workstation and refresh your eyes, mind, and body. You'll feel that much more energized and refreshed after a lunch break."
4. They Spend Time Around Healthy People
"Super productive people surround themselves with other mentally healthy, productive people," says relationship expert Michael Boman, LCSW. "Productive people look for like minded people that will challenge them, support them, and understand them."
5. They Keep Their Space Organized
"Daily removal of clutter is key for productivity," says Borman. A study from the journal Neuroscience found that physical clutter restricts your ability to focus. "Similar to what multitasking does to the brain, physical clutter overloads the senses, causes stress, and impairs the ability to think creatively," he says.
6. They Schedule Me Time
"Productive people proactively schedule 'me time' in the calendar," says Certified Professional Coach Lori Scherwin over email. "You honor meetings for others, how about yourself? Self-care is key, as the more you take care of yourself, the more you will have available in a more productive capacity for everything else you want to accomplish."
7. They Meditate
"Meditation has numerous cognitive benefits, and some claim that they can clear out space in their minds by meditating in order to achieve whatever is they want in their lives," says psychologist Kim Chronister, PsyD over email.
These daily habits may not work for everyone, but they can definitely help inspire your work ethic and create a daily routine that helps you stay motivated.