10 Steps to a Productive Day

In this video, Dr. Melissa Gratias is joined by her assistant, Dobby the house dog.  Together, they will give you 10 steps to have a very productive day.

Don’t want to watch the video?  The transcript is below.






Step #1 – Wake up at a consistent time every morning


Don’t underestimate the importance of your circadian rhythms and your times of peak productivity (and not so peak productivity). You can help manage and predict those times better by waking up at a consistent time every morning.


Step #2 – Do something that makes you smile first thing in the morning


Get your day kicked off on the right note. Do something that makes you smile. For me, the thing that makes me smile in the morning is going into Dobby’s room, seeing him greet me, feeding him, and petting him. That makes me very happy. It starts everything off on the right note so I will feel more energetic as the day progresses.


Step #3 – Review your calendar and task list for the day


This helps you get mentally geared up. You know where you need to be, and what you need to do during the spaces in between your meetings. Also make sure teleportation is not what you are counting on to get from one location to another.


Step #4 – Check your email and maybe even your social media


While it is good to do this, don’t get in there with no end in sight. Pull out your phone and set a timer, or otherwise you will be pulled down a slippery slope of email and/or social media. You may not be able to extract yourself for hours.


Step #5 – Take real breaks


Swiping your phone doesn’t count. Take a break where you stand up, because sitting all day is bad for you. Stand up and walk around. Allow your eyes to focus on something that is farther away from you than 3 feet, which is your computer monitor. It’s even better if you can go outside, breathe some fresh air, and get some sunshine.


Step #6 – Keep your task list open and update it throughout the course of the day


As things get done mark them off. As things get added put them on the task list. This should be a living document for your entire day, so that you are not over relying on your memory to get things done. Put things on your task list and do them in the appropriate order.


Step #7 – Finish the day by clearing everything out


Tidy your desk, clear out your email inbox, and update all the dates on your to-do list. If you don’t finish the day, then you will be more likely to reengage with work in the evening.


Step #8 – Look at your calendar for tomorrow


You can get yourself in the game for what’s coming tomorrow. Check if you need to put a file out on your desk so you’ll have it first thing in the morning or put it in your briefcase so it’ll be available to you. Look at your calendar for tomorrow so that there are no surprises.


Step #9 – Go through your clock out ritual


Clock out. Give yourself permission to be done. Back in the day, workers literally clocked out. They took a timecard, put it in the time slot, heard a very satisfying chain sound, and that was the auditory symbol for ‘I’m done.’ Fred Flintstone said ‘yabba-dabba-doo’ when the whistle sounded and slid down the dinosaur’s tail. What a way to clock out. I don’t know if I would say ‘yabba-dabba-doo’, but it is important to have a clock out ritual. Leave work and give yourself permission to be done.


Step #10 – Go to bed at a consistent time


It’s hard to wake up in a consistent time if you don’t go to bed in a consistent time, and that will help you set tomorrow up for optimal productivity.



So those are 10 steps to a more productive workday.


If you’d like to work through how this applies to you and your situation, I do one-on-one coaching. That’s what my coaching is for.


Please go to my website melissagratias.com and read the productivity tips for more information. Fill out the contact form, and we will schedule a no-cost-to-you initial assessment. I’ll ask you some questions, you can ask me some questions, and together we will determine how productivity coaching will help you meet your goals.


This is Dr. Melissa Gratias and Dobby. I hope you have a very productive day.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at getproductive@melissagratias.com or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.



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