We all have 24 hours a day, yet some people can accomplish much more than others. Why is this? How can some people get more done in one day than others in five days?
The answer lies in having effective daily habits and routines. Just three simple yet powerful patterns practiced daily can allow you to become an incredibly productive person who gets more done in one day than most people do in five days.
In this post, I’ll share the three daily habits that have been game-changers for my productivity. Implementing them has enabled me to accomplish more meaningful work by 10 a.m. than most people in a full workweek. These habits have freed up my time to focus on what matters most.
If you feel like you’re not reaching your potential, learn to build better daily habits for success.
The Power of Waking Up Early
The first primary key to unlocking elite productivity is waking up early. By early, I mean 5–6 a.m. I know, I know – for night owls, this sounds painful. But hear me out.
Waking up at or before sunrise gives you a headstart on the day before others are even awake. Those extra morning hours are perfect for getting meaningful work done for a few reasons:
- You have focused energy after a whole night’s rest, so your mental performance is at its peak.
- There are zero distractions – email hasn’t come in, Slack is quiet, and the phone isn’t ringing.
- The world feels calm and quiet. You can think, strategize, and create.
I’ve found waking up early to be one of the most potent productivity hacks. The benefits I’ve experienced include:
- Getting in an early morning workout when gyms are empty
- Completing 2-3 hours of deep work like writing and analysis
- Reading or listening to audiobooks for self-improvement
- Meal prepping breakfast and lunch
- Planning and prioritizing my day during a morning mindfulness routine
Overall, waking up early allows me to begin winning before most have even started their day. The compound effect over time is astounding.
If you currently wake up later in the morning, start going to bed a bit earlier each night until you can comfortably wake up at 5–6 a.m. Trust me, your future productive self will thank you.
The Power of Time Blocking Your Day
Once you’ve won the morning, the next habit is essential to maintaining productivity. That habit is time-blocking.
Time blocking means planning your day hour by hour and allocating time for certain activities.
For example, your two big daily priorities are completing an analytics report for work and working on your side hustle. To ensure these priorities aren’t derailed, you’d block time on your calendar to meet them.
Your schedule may look like this:
- 5:30 – 6:30 a.m.: Wake up and exercise
- 7:00 – 9:00 a.m.: Analytics report focused work session
- 9:00 – 9:30 AM: Breakfast
- 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.: Side hustle-focused work session
- 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Lunch
See how this works? You assign set blocks of time for your priorities. This removes constant decision fatigue throughout the day of “What task should I do next?”. Your time blocks determine what you should be working on at any given time.
Here are some other key time blocks to schedule each day:
- Deep work sessions of 2-3 hours for your most important projects
- Meetings and calls
- Breaks for meals, exercise, etc to recharge
- Basic tasks like email and errands
- Commute times
Aim to schedule time blocks for at least 80% of your waking hours. The more structure you can create around how you spend your time, the more effective you’ll be.
Time blocking takes a bit to get used to, but once you schedule each day this way for a couple of weeks, it will feel natural. And your productivity will skyrocket.
The Power of Limiting Distractions
The final piece of the productivity puzzle is limiting distractions. We live in an age of constant notifications, pings, apps, and alerts drawing our attention.
Distractions like social media, news sites, YouTube, and even email can quickly consume daily hours without contributing toward meaningful goals.
Here are a few strategies to strictly limit distractions:
- Set time limits on distracting websites and apps. For example, limit social media use to 20-30 minutes daily.
- Disable all non-essential notifications on your devices. Most apps are intentionally designed to hook you in and steal your focus. Regain that control.
- Check emails just 2-3 times per day. Don’t leave your email open all day—batch process emails efficiently during short blocks.
- When doing deep work, silence your devices in airplane mode. Close out all apps except those needed for the task at hand.
The goal of limiting distractions is to remain focused and present meaningful work. The easiest way to do this? Eliminate distractions as much as possible.
Your attention is precious, so be stingy about where you place it.
Implementing these three core habits – waking up early, time blocking your days, and limiting distractions – has improved my productivity.
By focusing my energy on fewer results-driven activities daily, I can get more done in one day than most people do in five days.
It takes diligence and commitment, but the payoff is enormous. So, if you currently feel like you aren’t reaching your potential, start putting these habits in place.
To quickly recap:
- Wake up early to win the morning with focused, deep work
- Time block your days hour by hour to maximize focus
- Limit distractions to maintain attention on what matters most
That’s all it takes to 10x your output. Are you up for the challenge?
How These Habits Changed My Life
I’ll share a case study from my life to drive home how effective these habits can be.
Just six months ago, I was unhappy. I felt constantly busy yet unproductive. I’d work long hours but finish each day feeling like I accomplished very little.
I struggled to find time for activities I enjoyed. I was always tired, distracted, and stressed.
So I decided enough was enough. I focused on building my morning routine, planning my days, and removing distractions.
Here’s what happened:
After two months of waking up at 5 a.m. daily to work out and do deep work, I finished projects in weeks that used to take months.
Time blocking my days based on priorities helped me reduce pointless meetings by 80%. I regained control of my schedule.
Kicking my social media addiction freed up 2+ hours per day I previously wasted scrolling aimlessly.
The results after just six months?
– I launched an online business that replaced my 9-5 income.
– I’ve read more books this year than the past five combined.
– I’ve gotten into the best shape of my life.
– My stress and anxiety levels are lower than ever.
Building these three core habits quite literally changed my life. I have more time, energy, and focus than ever before.
So take action TODAY. You’ll experience incredible benefits, even if you pick one habit.
You have just as many hours in the day as anyone else. Your habits determine how well you use them. Develop productivity habits that enable you to get more DONE in less time.