9 Things to Do Today So You’ll Get More Done Tomorrow

Do you want to earn more money. Simple. Get more done.

At least, it sounds simple, but it’s really not. As freelancers, our income depends partly on our productivity. That’s why there are so many blogs and posts on how to be more productive.

Despite all those posts about how to be more productive, I’ve seen very few on how to close your work day so that you can get more done the next day. Yet, the stage for a productive day is actually set the evening before.

In this post, I’ll identify nine steps you should take at the end of work day so that you can be more productive on the following day.

Steps to Help You Get More Done Tomorrow

Becoming more productive is really a matter of establishing good work habits. If you follow these nine steps each day before you quit work, it’ll help you to get more done in the morning. Plus, you’ll be building good habits.

Here are the nine steps:

  1. Clean your office. Take a few minutes at the end of each work day to straighten up your office. Throw away papers that aren’t needed. File anything that you are done with, but need to save. Starting with a clean office is one way to get the day off to a good start. Clutter can be a real distraction.
  2. Check your email. While some experts advise against checking email at the end of the day, doing so can put your mind to rest and help you to relax. Delete any junk emails and file any emails that you answered during the day. Make a note of the emails that need a response so you can tackle them first thing in the morning.
  3. Check your phone messages. You should clear your phone messages the same way you did your emails at the end of each day. Be sure to make a note of any calls that you need to return in the morning. Delete any sales calls or voice messages that you’ve already responded to.
  4. Make a note of where you are leaving off. This is especially helpful if you have a large job or task, Being able to pick up where you left off the night before can help you to be more efficient. Without this vital step, you may find yourself redoing or backtracking.
  5. Back up your work. If you’ve ever lost work due to a computer problem, you understand how important regular backups are. In fact, if you don’t back up regularly, you may find yourself having to recreate a day’s worth (or more) of work. Plus, with all of the cloud-based backup options available today, there’s no reason anymore why you can’t have offsite backups.
  6. Unplug and disconnect. You need a break from working, both physically and mentally. So, turn of the computer and turn down the ring volume on your phone when you have finished working. Don’t fall prey to the temptation to let your daily work bleed over into your evening and night.
  7. Do something for yourself. Allowing yourself to relax each day helps you to stay sharp mentally. So, make sure your after work hours are just that–AFTER work. Pick something to do each evening that you enjoy and then do it. It really doesn’t matter what you pick, as long as you enjoy it.
  8. Set your alarm. If you are prone to hitting the snooze button, then set the alarm for a time earlier than you actually want to get up. Sleeping in can seriously impact your daily productivity. Plus, an alarm will keep that from happening. Plus, if you get up at the same time each morning, your biological clock will reset.
  9. Get some rest. Studies have shown that people who are rested are more productive and make better decisions. So, whether your night owl habits are for work or for play, your late nights don’t help your productivity. Plus, lack of sleep could cause you to become susceptible to illness.

Once you get into the habit of following these easy steps, you should find that your productivity increases.

Your Turn

What evening productivity tasks do you perform? Share your productivity ideas in the comments.

Image by zoutedrop

Comments

  1. says

    You are so right about getting enough rest, Laura. What you do the night before decides what kind of day you’re going to have tomorrow.

    I can predict the productivity of my day within the first few seconds. If I list my top 3-5 things that must be done tomorrow – in order of priority – I’ll get straight to work the next day. If I try to plan first thing in the morning, it’s not going to be a good day. Get it out of your head. Ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I need to accomplish tomorrow? Then what? Then what?” With those 3, you have a plan for liftoff. If you only got 3 things accomplished tomorrow, what do they need to be? Make tomorrow count by deciding what’s important today – while your projects are fresh in your mind.

  2. says

    The only step I would personally eliminate is the setting of an alarm. I have not set an alarm in probably 10 years. :-)

    The only exception has been if I was doing something outside the norm, like going on a trip, but even then I always wake up before the alarm goes off.

    If you have a smartphone with all your emails, messages, etc., it’s easy to fall into the trap of checking them. What I do is attach the phone to its charger – in another room in the house – and forget about it until I detach the charger before going to bed.

    I’m with you on the clean office. Even if all I do is make neat piles, I can deal with that much better than a morning with paper covering my entire desk.

  3. says

    Cathy Miller,

    Oh my! No alarm? I don’t know if I could do it. Some days I might not get up. :)

    Seriously, I’m not much of a morning person–so, I need that alarm. I do know that there are people who spring energetically out of bed every morning at exactly the same time.

  4. says

    I agree. For me the most essential component is doing yoga with my smartphone in another room to “unplug & disconnect.” It’s very effective. As an entrepreneur it’s so easy to allow work to consume you. Quiet time keeps me sane. lol

  5. says

    Another great article, as usual. I find it hard sometimes to disconnect from work in the evenings as my clients are in different time zones so I try to make sure to connect with them during my work hours or set up a normal time to communicate where I can at least have a few hours to myself and let my brain relax… I used to work all day everyday but I find that it makes things harder than you would expect! Your brain needs rest..

  6. says

    A huge obsession with money can make people forget to do something seemingly trivial, such as cleaning the office and work desk, making notes or daily agendas, to taking adequate rest. In fact, the things that seem trivial gives a great impact to the success of a person.

  7. says

    I read the tip somewhere that you should leave off in the middle of a sentence at the end of the day, because then it will help motivate you to come back to it the next day. I find that can work for fiction projects, but not so much for client work.

    I agree with checking email at the end of the day. I think outlining two or three tasks for the following day also can help your productivity.

    More than unplug, I think it’s important to remove yourself from technology altogether at the end of the day (easier said than done). That way, you don’t wind up feeling as though you’re tethered to the computer – or phone – when you head back to work the next morning.

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