productivity calendar

Remember that thing you were going to accomplish about a year ago, but never took more than a couple of days to work on it?

For me, it was working out and getting my body back into shape. The sad part is that goal was set over 2 years ago and I still keep telling myself, “Yeah I’ll start soon…”.

But I won’t ever start and neither will you.

Unless you take another strategy, that is. There are hundreds of reasons why we won’t start and we will make up excuses for every day that goes by. For me, it’s because I am a full-time dad, husband, employee. It’s so easy for me to throw the ‘I’m-too-tired’ card when it is time to get a workout in. This is truly a copout response because I know dozens of others in my shoes that take the time to care for their body and overall health.

If we are going to successfully accomplish our goal, it’s time that we stop procrastinating and take the 7-day productivity challenge.

Why is it so hard to stop procrastinating?

It takes a massive amount of willpower to increase motivation and productivity. The challenge is that the return on investment isn’t high enough to keep us moving toward our goal and we usually give up after a couple of days.

The best way to increase your willpower to stop procrastination is by creating an automated routine and committing to the steps involved. The 7-day productivity challenge is meant to keep you committed for this short period so you can start small and build this momentum into something greater over time.

The key is to focus for 7 days without missing a day. After the 7 days, feel free to give up on your progress altogether (although, I have a feeling this won’t happen). Once you have completed one week of ultimate productivity, you will have the drive to go a couple more weeks.

Make A Strong Commitment

Are you ready to take the challenge?

The key to starting anything great is making a firm commitment to change. This solid commitment isn’t just saying ‘yes’ to something, but more importantly, saying ‘yes’ and following through with multiple actions.

The first actionable item is to stop and plan for success. Get out your phone, calendar, or whatever you use for scheduling and block off the week you will take the productivity challenge. Next, let your significant other and close friends know that you are about to start working on {INSERT GOAL HERE}. Finally, write out the goal as if you have already achieved it and the benefits that you will get from doing this challenge. Place this in the bathroom somewhere so you can see it every morning and evening.

Now that we have made a promise to ourselves and others, let’s get ready to start the 7 Day Productivity Challenge.

Pro Tip: Complete only 1 day at a time and stick to the goals you have set. This is important and will help you get the most out of the challenge.

Day 1: Start Waking Up Early

Set an alarm 2 hours earlier than normal and start working on your goal.

Yes, you heard that right. For the next 7 days, set an alarm 2 whole hours earlier than your normal wake-up time. If you normally wake up at 8am, set these alarms for 6am. This is pertinent for many reasons:

  • Peace & Quiet
  • Fewer Distractions
  • Better Sleep
  • More Brain Power

Waking up early is probably the hardest step of the entire challenge. The good news is after a few days, it will become easier and easier. Doing this will force you to get on a better sleep schedule and you will eventually have the perfect environment to focus without any distractions or other noise. Focusing on your goal in the early hours of the day will also help your brain capitalize on a less cluttered mind.

morning coffee for productivity

When your alarm clock goes off, give yourself the best chance for success. Immediately get out of bed and make yourself a cup of coffee or tea. This will help you get through the first few days without being too sluggish.

Make a plan to work on your goal for the next 7 days. Reverse engineer the goal so you can see each day leading up to the first big milestone of reaching your goal. During this challenge, make a point to work on this task for a maximum of an hour each day. This is important so you don’t burn yourself out too early or dread waking up each day. Doing this will help you from procrastinating on the following day.

Day 2:  Take Care of Your Health

In addition to waking up early, start doing a quick 15-minute workout to get your blood flowing. This will help jumpstart your day and will quickly give you an energy boost.

Don’t stop there though. After you finish working on your goal, write out exactly what you are going to eat for the rest of the day. Eating healthy is the key to staying productive. Make sure these meals are light, nutritious, and won’t bog you down afterward. Don’t forget to drink a ton of water, too. Drinking more water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and will help you eat less at each meal.

It will be important to keep this 15-minute workout going for the next 6 days as well. There are plenty of body workouts that you can do that are simple and yield great results. Find one that works for you and try to work up a good sweat so you can see some physical change by the end of the productivity challenge.

Day 3: Get Pumped Up

You know that feeling when you put on a song and it gets to that one part that runs chills down your spine?

Crank up the volume and jam out to more songs like that. Talk to more people who get you energized. You know who I’m talking about. Give them a call and let the positive vibes flow.

listen to music for productivity

One thing you should do to start the day off right is to watch a motivational video each morning. Start adding this to your morning routine for the next few days of the productivity challenge. It won’t take more than 10 minutes and it’ll help you get the momentum you need to crush the goals ahead of you. Need some videos to watch in the morning? Start with our favorite motivational videos and see which ones you like most.

As of now, we should be doing 3 things every day. Make sure you continue these 3 tasks for the rest of the productivity challenge:

  • Wake up early and work on your goal
  • Watch one motivational video
  • Finish a 15-minute workout

Day 4: Tell Someone ‘No’ Today

‘No’ can be one of the hardest words for us to say. This could be for many reasons:

  • We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
  • We don’t want to appear rude
  • We lack confidence in ourselves
  • We don’t want conflict

The problem here is that the word ‘Yes’ could force you to give up your Saturday. For example, your boss asks you to come in on the weekend to help out the team accomplish some overdue tasks. You don’t want to, but give in because of the reasons above. If you are truly dreading this task, it may take up your time and energy which will cause you to procrastinate on other things you would have normally wanted to do or accomplish.

For the rest of today, make a mental note anytime someone asks you to do something. When this happens, think about the consequences of saying ‘Yes’ and whether or not it makes sense to help out. I’m not suggesting to tell off your wife or ruin relationships with your friends, but tactfully find a way to say no have that response in your back pocket.

So let’s find a way to say ‘No’ and decline at least 1 request today.

Day 5: Create a Healthy Environment

It can be extremely challenging to stay productive when your life is cluttered and unorganized. Rejuvenating your environment will help your mind stay focused and on the task at hand. Here are some ways to help declutter your environment:

  • Organize your room, office, car, or any other space where you work and relax.
  • Eliminate constant distractions (this could be email alerts or spam phone calls)
  • Stop spending so much time with people dragging you down

Today, I want you to spend 30 minutes cleaning and organizing your workspace (remember, this is in addition to your goal / video / workout). This will help you stay productive as you work on your goal each day.

When you get the free time, find a way to start blocking distractions from your electronics. Did you know that most smartphones have a spam filter to block telemarketers? This could save you hours of time and stress with the tap of a button. In the coming weeks, find a way to proactively make choices to spend time with people that make you feel good and don’t drag you down. These small choices will help your environment stay positive and will lead to more productivity.

Day 6: Pamper Your Body

The average morning routine typically consists of jumping out of bed, quickly showering your body, brushing your teeth for a few seconds, and slapping on some deodorant before running out the door.

This strategy is efficient, but comes at a cost.

bath routine

Just for today, take an extra 25 minutes to properly groom yourself from head to toe. Wash every inch of your body and brush your teeth like you are about to go see the dentist. Take your time and slide into some clothes that make you feel confident. Now spray on some cologne/perfume and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

When we look good, we feel good. These positive feelings and emotions can help us stay happy, motivated, and will lead to more productivity.

Day 7: Spread Generosity

By now you should be feeling good about your progress. You have had 6 laser-focused hours to work on your goal and I would assume you have hit some sort of milestone by now.

Today, we will continue to work on our goal, motivational video, and workout, but will then change gears to focus on others.

Take a moment to think of one random act of kindness you can give to a family member, friend, or stranger. This could be making someone breakfast. You could also give someone a hand with a chore they need to accomplish. Whatever the deed is, make a point to make someone’s day by spending time or money on them. This will help the good vibes flow and will keep your mind in a positive state.

You Completed The 7 Day Productivity Challenge

Woooo, you did it! So, now what…can I stop?

Sure.

…but I would recommend keeping this going as long as possible. I know it’s impossible to have a rigid routine like this for the rest of your life. You will have phases where things are going GREAT and phases where you are down on life. When you get into the darker, depressing phases of life, come back to this article and take this challenge again.

Also, think about the benefits you gained from taking the productivity challenge and what you learned during the process. Were you able to stop procrastination from your goals? This might be hard work, but the reward is definitely worth the battle.

If you took the challenge, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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