For most people, work rules their lives. If you love what you do, you want to give it your all but that can be tough to do as the week drags on. Most people can kill themselves working 40, 60 or 80 hours a week, but keeping those hours productive is a different story.

 

Here are 5 ways to make sure your work day is a productive one:

1. Exercise 

     - It may be the last thing you want to do, but working out in the morning will give you lasting energy all day. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals that can boost mood and energy levels for hours after the workout is over. Morning workouts also set your sleep cycle, giving you energy when you need it while allowing you to wind down before bed. Working out at night can have the opposite effect, giving you too much energy and making it difficult to turn yourself off and go to sleep. It doesn’t need to be intense to get the benefits; go for a run or simply do a few jumping jacks to get your blood pumping.

2. Eat a healthy breakfast 

     - Food is fuel for your body, and the most important fill-up of the day is breakfast. Not only does it wake up your metabolism from its overnight slumber, but it also dictates your energy levels all day long. No matter what you choose, make sure your breakfast contains complex carbohydrates to allow your brain to concentrate and focus as well as control your appetite until lunch time.

3. Wake up early, and at the same time 

     - If you’re always waking up at different times, your body is never going to be able to adjust to a natural sleep pattern. You’ll always feel foggy, as if you were just shaken awake from a deep sleep. Set your alarm for a time that works for your schedule, giving a few hours before you need to rush out the door, and leave it for all seven days of the week. Eventually, your body will fall into a routine and adjust, and you can finally retire your snooze button.

4. Get your mind right 

     - A clear head will make you more focused and allow you to tackle all of your tasks for the day. You won’t get bogged down or make excuses if you’re thinking clearly. Take just five minutes in the morning to meditate. Find a quite place in your home, get comfortable, put on some relaxing music (or not, if you prefer the silence) and focus on your breath. If you have trouble with meditation (it takes practice) find a mantra that resonates with you to repeat or express gratitude for the things in your life that bring your contentment and joy. Doing this every day will bring mental clarity, spiritual well-being and set the stage for a positive day.

5. Get your biggest projects done first

     - The first things on your to-do list should be the big projects, perhaps even the ones you are dreading. You are more productive first thing in the morning – so take advantage of your fresh mind by knocking that looming task off your list. Everything else seems like cake in comparison. Or, if you don't get to the rest of the list, you aren't so stressed starting the next day. You'll feel accomplished as you tackle those big projects and they'll never get pushed off until tomorrow.

by Kelly Turner

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