In my own life, I keep myself on a scheduled routine. In my experience and opinion, having a schedule is the only way to go about business, and I'm not the only one who feels this way either.
I have many friends in this game, and they all agree with me when I say you need to write things down and keep yourself organized. Now, we need to clear up a little misconception and you might find it a little disturbing, but bear with me here.
People like to say that you have 24 hours in a day, right? Do you agree with that sentiment? Well guess what...it's a lie! You have about 12 hours in the day to be productive, about 4 if you already have a 9-5 job or obligation.
The rest of that time is spent sleeping, eating, cleaning, or commuting, and none of that counts in my book! I'm also being really conservative here and I'm not counting on any "down time" that might be spent on leisure activities, so make of that what you will.
So on any given day of the week, you only have between 4-12 hours to get shit done, and as you know, that's not a whole lot of time. Can you see now why managing your time is so important? You can't fight time, but you can make sure that you use the time that you have wisely.
So what do I suggest that you do about this little issue? I already said it once but I'll say it again, you need to write things down! It doesn't need to be anything fancy either, as I only use a 3x5 index card to do the trick. If you don't have any index cards for whatever reason, then you can use a simple piece of notebook paper that you fold up into pocket size pieces.
All you have to do then is make sure you write up a "to-do" list for the next day, sometime before you go to sleep. So if it's a Tuesday night, make a list of things to do for Wednesday and put that list with your wallet and phone so that you don't forget it. Only put down tasks that you can reasonably accomplish within any given day. Your list should look something like:
- Go to the gym
- Write an article
- Update FB page
- Make video on XYZ
- Contact XYZ clients
- Skype session @ 3pm
- Check in with my VA
If you want, you can even put down tertiary tasks like cooking breakfast or doing the dishes, just so you can cross those things off when you're done. It'll give you some positive reinforcement, but don't make a habit of just putting easy tasks down on that list just so you can pat yourself on the back, you will stunt your own productivity that way.
Also, don't throw away your daily lists until you do this very important step! Every Sunday night, look over what you accomplished over the past week and evaluate yourself. Did you get everything done that you planned to get done? Why or why not? Write that down and make a little outline of what you would like to accomplish in the coming week.
Take those answers into consideration as you evaluate the past week and prepare for the next one. When you're done, make your "to-do" list for Monday and then go to sleep. Try this out for a month and I'm damned sure you're going to see your productivity level blast off like you wouldn't believe.