“ When you know you ’ ve got a busy day ( or week ) ahead of you , it ’ s important to have a clear plan for what you need to achieve .” work resources ) to stick at your scheduled task as long as you need to .
That ’ s not to say that you shouldn ’ t take breaks . You definitely should — breaks are critically important to our long-term productivity . The longer you work on something , the less mental resources you have to give it .
Entrepreneur Magazine ’ s The Secret to Increased Productivity : Taking Time Off , notes that “ one study found that mental fatigue takes hold after three hours of continuous time on-task ; other scientists say brains need a break after 90 minutes , the length of the “ basic rest-activity cycle .” You can also use systems like the Pomodoro Method , in which you take a short break after 25-30 minute work intervals .
Just make sure that your breaks are scheduled and intentional , rather than distractions .
There ’ s a big difference between a strategic , healthy break and the kind where you just scroll through your phone for half an hour . It ’ s important that your brain actually gets a break !
Use your break time to clear your mind and do something for your physical health . Get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air by taking a walk around your neighborhood or through a local park . Spending 10 to 15 minutes meditating or journaling can be another good way to refresh your mind .
These healthy breaks can help you get your most important work done effectively , leaving you with enough energy to handle your smaller tasks and anything that comes up unscheduled .
3 . BE PREPARED FOR DELAYS A big part of our schedules depend on outside circumstances running smoothly . However , things don ’ t always go according to plan . Public transportation runs behind schedule ; we get stuck in traffic ; we end up in waiting rooms ; or our friends are late to meet us . A good way to ensure this time isn ’ t wasted is to be prepared .
Carry a book or your Kindle with you just in case you have to wait .
If you prefer audio to the written word , there are plenty of podcasts you can listen to so you can learn something new and improve yourself while you wait . We talk about our top 10 productivity podcasts in a different article , but here are a few we love :
• Extreme Productivity with Kevin Kruse : Kevin Kruse is a New York Times bestselling author who has interviewed highly successful people such as athletes , billionaires , and CEOs . Each episode of his podcast is only 15 minutes long , which makes them ideal for filling in delays .
• The Productivityist Podcast : This podcast by Mike Vardy is full of tips for boosting your productivity in new and innovative ways . He touches on topics such as minimalism , mindfulness , journaling , wellness , and much more .
• ProdPod : There ’ s no excuse for missing out on this podcast – each episode is only two minutes long . In that short time , host Ray Sidney-Smith is able to pack in plenty of information on aspects of productivity like dealing with burnout , finding your focus , tackling procrastination , and overcoming creative obstacles .
We all struggle to make time for the things that are important to us . But with a little planning and conscious prioritization , we can maximize the time we ’ re given . The key is to be intentional about the ways we spend our days . If you make it your goal to be present and mindful , you ’ ll find yourself making choices that will benefit your future self instead of opting for the instant gratification of time-wasting .
Want to get better at prioritizing your time and being more productive ? Turn your to-do list into a success list with the 411 worksheet ( the1thing . com / resources / your-411 ). This simple template for weekly , monthly and annual planning turns your ONE Thing intentions into actions . +
Gary Keller is the founder and chairman of the board for Keller Williams Realty , the world ' s largest real estate franchise by agent count . A finalist for Inc . Magazine ’ s Entrepreneur of the Year award , Keller is recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the real estate industry , leading his company to 30 consecutive years of growth and profitability . Keller has written three nationally best-selling books : The Millionaire Real Estate Agent , The Millionaire Real Estate Investor , and SHIFT : How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times .
Before Jay Papasan co-authored the bestselling Millionaire Real Estate series with Gary Keller , he worked as an editor at Harper Collins Publishers . There he worked on such best-selling books as Body-for-Life by Bill Phillips and Go for the Goal by Mia Hamm . Jay also co-owns a successful real estate team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty with his wife Wendy in Austin , TX .
The ONE Thing Blog . (“ 3 Ways to Find More Time in Your Day ”). Retrieved from ( the1thing . com / the-one-thing / 3-ways-to-find-more-time-in-your-day )
Based on the book The ONE Thing : The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan , Bard Press , 2013 .