For goal-oriented people like me, it always feels like there are a million things to get done at any given time, but nowhere near enough time to get it all done. It’s a big source of frustration, especially when it seems like some people are accomplishing all their goals and still being able to make time for family and relaxation. If you can relate to this, then it might just be time to make some adjustments in your day-to-day and find some tools to help you get more done. You’d be surprised what a big difference small shifts in your lifestyle can make in your productivity.


Exercise Early

I used to save my exercise time until the evening after all my work was done, and although it seemed a little more convenient schedule-wise, I was feeling sluggish by mid-day. I decided to shift my exercises to the mornings, either before starting work or a couple hours into the day, and I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my energy level. Working out in the morning can give you more energy throughout the day, and it’s also a great way to clear your head and start the day in a positive and uplifted mood. You don’t have to do your entire workout routine in the morning; if you can just squeeze in at least 10 minutes of exercise you’ll notice a huge difference. My favorite morning exercises are dance cardio workouts (free on YouTube) from Madfit and The Studio by Jamie Kinkeade. They’re so much fun, and a short but very effective cardio workout.


Start Your Day With the Right Foods

The foods you eat in the morning and throughout your day can make a big difference in how you’re feeling energy-wise. The best foods to eat to give you energy and focus are fruits, vegetables, protein, and nuts, and there are plenty of ways to combine them into tasty and healthy meals and snacks. If you’re looking for foods that will improve your brain function throughout the day, berries and nuts are a great go-to for extra brain power.


Wake Up Earlier

I personally struggle with this, and have had a life-long habit of hitting snooze several times in the morning, but pushing yourself to wake up earlier than usual can be a really effective way to get more done in the morning. Mornings can be one of the best times to get things done that take more concentration or creativity, especially after a little bit of morning exercise to jump-start the day. If part of your struggle is waking up to an irritating alarm in a pitch black room, I highly recommend trying a sunrise alarm clock. Sunrise alarm clocks simulate the sunrise, going from complete darkness to full brightness within a half hour before your wake-up time, making it easier and less painful to wake up in the morning.


Work in a Clean and Organized Space

Whether you’re at an office or working on project at home, working in a clean and clutter-free work space can make it much easier to focus on the task at hand. Not only will you not be feeling frustrated by the mess around you, but you can find things much more easily in a space that’s thoughtfully organized. Desk organizers are awesome tools for setting yourself up for success and having a logical place to store papers, folders, and office supplies.


Have Some Structure in Your Day

You don’t have to have every day planned out from start to finish, but it helps a lot to have a little structure in each day. For example, you could designate a portion of each day to certain tasks, or just have a to-do list of things you want to accomplish in your day, week, or month. I will always swear by planners, many of which are designed to make daily, weekly, and monthly planning a breeze. Having structure in your day not only keeps you on track to get the most important things done, but it keeps you from jumping to less important tasks, and helps you work smarter and harder.