3 questions I ask myself every morning that help with productivity

I shared about having a morning routine last week. This has been very helpful to me because I was frustrated with how my mornings were going. I wasn’t waking up when I wanted to. I was struggling to get a quiet time in. I wanted to get a work-out in. I wanted to do so many things and I was never finding the time in my day because, life….

So, I started figuring out exactly what time I needed to go to bed in order to get up in the morning when I really wanted to. I wanted to have 2 hours in the morning to do what I wanted and I didn’t want to feel rushed. So, I wake up at 5am. Therefore I have to go to bed at 10pm. I can live off of 7 hours of sleep. Now, for some of you, this is not enough time, but figure out what you really need as far as sleep goes. I have a good friend who really needs 8-9 hours of sleep a night. No apologies, she isn’t lazy… she knows how much sleep her body requires. Don’t fight against it, work with it and honor it by really getting the sleep you need. Figure out how much sleep you need by tracking it. This is something that I see so many people neglecting. They try and force their body to cooperate with their schedule. So they sleep 5 or 6 hours and their body is tired, so they drink LOTS of coffee, so they can survive. But remember when we survive we live from our lower brain and seek pleasure, avoid pain, and try and be efficient in our old thoughts, and that pretty much keeps us in that stuck cycle. So knowing how much sleep you need is key to thriving.

I noticed that when I didn’t have a plan for what I wanted to do, I either kept hitting snooze or I wasted my time. I was on social media for an hour 😞, and then I was disappointed with myself.

So, I needed a plan. A way to maximize what I could, and wanted to do during that time. I came up with my what, and now I am super focused and LOVE my time. I wake up excited because I can’t wait to spend time with myself and God. One part of my time is cleaning up my mind. And during that time for the month of September I have been working on priorities and productivity. So to do that I ask myself 3 questions every morning and I write my answers down in my journal.

I thought I would pass this along to you so maybe you could try it out and improve your productivity as well. Here they are:

  1. What did you get done yesterday? This isn’t a question I would have typically asked myself. I didn’t think it was important to look back. I tend to forget what I did and get lost in my big to do list for my current day. But this question allows me the opportunity to celebrate the steps I am taking each day to get closer to my goals but also allows me to really see what I can do in a day.

  2. What 3 things are you focused on accomplishing for work and for home? This question constrains me to find the 3 most important things to do. I tend to have such a large list that I don’t get any of them done. In my confusion about what is important I might just do a little for each. But this pushes me to be laser focused. So, for today I know that I am finishing my blog and social media posts for the week, coaching for 3 hours. and setting up my emails for the week. For the home; I am grabbing groceries at Wal-Mart pickup and putting them away, figuring out our automatic tithing with our church, and making an intentional phone call to a friend.

  3. How will I have to feel in order to get these things done? Typically I need to feel disciplined, or focused, or purposeful, or intentional. But today I chose inspired. I know that to write out a blog or social media posts, or emails I have to create the content from a place of inspiration. When I am inspired, I want to inspire others. So, I spent some time thinking about things that inspire me and it got me to think that my words might inspire you. I also want to feel honoring. When I honor my schedule I do it no matter what. So, even though I may have other things come up, I want to honor my schedule and call my friend that I made an intentional decision to call. I really like to feel accomplished at the end of the day and something that makes me feel that way is to know I followed my daily schedule.

From these questions I can focus my brain and give it direction. I can purposefully think thoughts that get me feeling inspired and honoring. I don’t waste brain space on what isn’t necessary or what distracts me. I am seeing such great results in my life in the productivity area of my life because I find I am actually following my schedule. I have a schedule, and I do what I say I am going to do.

These 3 questions have really helped me start my day very clear on what I want to do and what it will take to get them done. If you are someone who is wanting to be more productive or efficient with your time, try these 3 questions and answer them consistently for the rest of the month. You will be amazed at how this simple exercise can bring you clarity, focus, and discipline.

Here’s to doing what we say we are going to do,

Angie Woods

P.S. Sometimes when I don’t want to wake up at 5 I remind myself of how my future self will feel at the end of the day. The person that wakes up and starts my day off on the right foot. That person will feel amazing. You may need to have this thought in your tool belt too, as you try and wake up when your alarm goes off! The lower brain will throw a lot of good thoughts your way but you are ready with some powerful ones to combat that nonsense.