How do you make all your days productive?

I used to think that some days just weren't productive. And I wished I could figure it out at the beginning of the day so that I could spend the day reading or hanging out with friends. Then I realized that each day is different. (Or I'm different each day.) And the key is figuring out what I'll be productive at today.

(I also realized that reading and hanging out with friends is a productive use of time too!)

The problem is I haven't figured out how to tell at the beginning of the day what kind of day it is. So I start out trying to work on what I believe is most important or urgent, and if I don't get anywhere I start switching task types. Maybe it's writing, maybe it's catching up on email, maybe it's crunching those numbers, maybe it's making all those phone calls, maybe it's something mindless like filing expense reports. Usually I find it pretty quickly – or at least by lunch time – but I wish I could some how take my temperature and know what kind of day it is …

How do you figure out what you'll be most productive at on any given day?

3 Replies to “How do you make all your days productive?”

  1. My productivity is linked to my consumption of coffee or other forms of stimulant. =)

  2. Walk or meditate.
    I dont meditate, so a brisk morning and evening walk is the right recipe. I used have to bike 14k to work which had a great effect on the day. Since I work from home, I find I still have to walk or bike a bit to start the day properly.

  3. I don’t try to be productive. I just came to terms with the fact that not all days are going to be as productive as others. Like when you’re sitting on hold for 30 minutes, because someone transferred you to the wrong number, while trying to order internet service. Not particularly productive. I just try to optimize my workflow for doing things. And I use that same ideology when writing applications. The more you have to interact with an application to do something, the more likely it is that you’re going to hit a problem doing it, and lose time fiddling with things you probably shouldn’t really have to fiddle with anyway. The more you can interact with the data instead of the application, the more productive you’re going to be.

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