These days our lives are all about being more productive. How we can maximize the amount of time we have in one day to get the absolute best and most out of it. Sadly we are too easily distracted these days, which is why we primarily face the problem of being unproductive…

With the information era zooming around us constantly chowing away on all our free time. Our phones, televisions and computers have become some of the biggest culprits.

I am someone that loves routine. My routine saves me from getting distracted, scattered, and it keeps me focused.

I have a few things/tips/rules I stick to every day that help me  to not only live a more relaxed life, but also helps to be more productive.

Here goes… My tips for being more productive and leading a more balanced life.

1. Manage your energy, not your time.

If you take a moment to think about it, you’ll probably realize that you are better at doing certain tasks at certain times. My creative energy is highest in the morning, so that’s when I do most of my work. I would say my morning-power-hours are from 7:00 to 12:00.

When at work, I book my afternoons from 13:00 – 16:00 to avoid any critical work related issues popping up, knowing that this is not the best time for me to tackle new work issues. These issues I take on in the mornings.

2. Be Selfish with your time

Boy do we become easily distracted these days. Before we know it our entire day, week is fully booked without us having any time for the things we want to do.  I’ve gotten into the habit of never scheduling anything between 16:00 and 18:00. This leaves my entire afternoon open to do whatever I want to, and prevents the evenings arrangements to creep up and become late afternoon activities.This leaves me open to go spend time with my wife, going to the gym, or simply chilling at home. Plan and book time to do nothing or you will never have time for anything.

3. Offline mode

It took me awhile to get over the urge to open my inbox every 10 minutes and hastily respond to every email as it enters my mailbox. I continually strive to the zero unread emails ideal. But i realized how much time ones email inbox can steal from my day. Especially during my power-hours in the mornings. My solution? Download all new emails in the morning first thing, then set outlook to “offline mode”. This prevents any new emails from distracting you or preventing you from doing your work. I would typically check again at 12:00.

Realize that emails aren’t critical and can typically wait at least 12 hours before a response. Nobody is going to email you about a true emergency (a death in the family, etc.), so leave your email alone for the first few hours of each day, and choose a cut-off time in the afternoons or evenings where you leave your inbox alone until the next morning. Mine is 16:00. Use the morning to do what’s important rather than responding to what is “urgent.”

4. Establish a set morning routine

My morning routine involves a shower, getting dressed followed by a cup of coffee and a smoke. Similarly, you should have a sequence that starts your morning ritual. This tiny routine signals to your brain that it’s time to get into work mode or exercise mode or whatever mode you need to be in to accomplish your task. Additionally, a pre–game routine helps you overcome a lack of motivation and get things done even when you don’t feel like it.