Plan your day according to the timings that your self-control is at its peak.
We use self-control for many things all day long. For example, getting out of bed the first time the alarm rings instead of hitting the snooze button, skipping dessert at lunch, choosing which brand of detergent to buy from the store—we have to use our self-control for all of these things! It’s no wonder that we feel exhausted at the end of the day.
Identifying when you are most focused and scheduling important tasks for those times will ensure you can do what you need to do. You will find your productivity levels shooting through the roof!
Keep in mind that focus is not entirely limited to just one time of the day. Sometimes, you will need to actively push yourself to be productive. You might feel tired, but once you let go of that idea, you may realize that it was just a distraction and you are capable of working at your goal a little while longer. (Of course, if you are actually tired, do not overexert yourself.)
- Pay attention to the times of day when you are the most focused.
For some people, this is when they first wake up in the morning, but for others, it is in the evening, right after a good dinner. Spend a week tracking your levels of productivity and self-control, and figure out when you are the most focused.
- Plan your day according to these times.
If you have a big project to work on, schedule it for the time of day when you are the most focused and productive.
- Limit temptations during the time of day when you’re least focused.
If you tend to get distracted at lunch, limit the number of things that could distract you! For example, if you have to finish a task by the end of the day, eat lunch at your desk quickly so you can get back to work instead of going out with your friends/colleagues and spending the rest of the afternoon chit-chatting.
- [BONUS STEP] Push yourself to the limits when your focus is waning.
When you notice your focus decreasing and your mind beginning to wander, challenge that thought. Are you truly tired? Is it really time to give in to temptation? Ask yourself these questions; you may realize that the answer is “NO.” Push yourself to be productive.
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