Productivity Boosting Tasks to Complete Before 5 PM Daily

Alyssa Atkinson

Crucial yet simple efficiency boosting practices.

Most of us complete very similar tasks week after week. We exercise, work, cook, eat, clean, sleep, and repeat.

Sometimes, these tasks feel exciting and fulfilling. Other times, you feel as though you are the main character in the real-life version of Groundhog’s Day, doomed to repeat the same 24 hour stretch of time over and over again.

You would think that after months, or even years of practice, there would be no more room for growth.

In reality, that’s far from true. In fact, there is one skill that I continue to work on each and every week. It has helped me achieve greater success in all areas of my life. It’s called efficiency.

You could have all the discipline in the world, but without efficiency, you won’t be able to reach your biggest goals.

Something that has helped me boost my overall efficiency dramatically is setting up a list of tasks to complete each and everyday before the end of the evening. The following are five such tasks that everyone should be doing before 5 PM to boost efficiency, productivity, and success.

1. This Key Practice

I’m sure you’ve heard about the benefits of daily exercise too many times to count. However, that doesn’t make it any less important.

I used to dread early morning workouts, and then I realized that I don’t have to go run the moment I get out of bed. Giving myself an hour in the morning to wake up, sip on a hot cup of coffee, and do a bit of writing before I head out the door for my daily run completely changed the game for me.

Now, I look forward to my 5 AM writing session and the early morning jog that follows. These two actions set me up for a highly productive day.

My daily run sets the entire tone for the day ahead. It puts me in a positive mindset and offers both mental and physical health benefits.

No matter what form of exercise you choose, this is the first key practice you should aim to complete daily.

2. Cook This

Cooking and eating a healthy breakfast is absolutely essential for optimizing efficiency and productivity. Without fuel, the brain simply can’t function optimally.

Exactly when you eat isn’t near as important as what you eat. I like to start my morning off with something hearty like oatmeal with nut butter and fruit, protein pancakes, or whole wheat toast with avocado and hummus.

I used to rely on quick convenience foods loaded with sugar, such as cereal or flavored yogurt. Now that I eat a whole foods plant-based diet, my meals are more nutrient dense in general.

Breakfast is no exception, and I noticed a huge difference in my overall energy levels as a result of transitioning to a minimally processed diet and cutting out excess added sugar.

The takeaway here is to eat a healthy breakfast each morning which gives you the necessary fuel to power through the day.

3. Plan This Out Early

Just before the end of every workday, I like to write a to do list for the following day. This strategy is one I slowly transitioned to, and it has worked wonders.

Knowing exactly what I need to get done each day helps me stay on task and productive. I used to keep a huge to do list that I could never finish, and I ended each day feeling defeated.

I have since realized that a never ending to do list is actually quite ineffective. Now, I put only high priority items that I truly need to complete on the given day (or soon after).

Now, I’m able to accomplish my most urgent tasks each and every day, and crossing everything off makes me feel excited to do it all over again the next day.

Moral of the story is that you should prepare yourself for the coming workday by creating a short, specific to do list. This is the third key task you should aim to complete before 5 PM for optimal efficiency.

It may seem like a few simple tasks couldn’t possibly make a difference in your day to day life. However, something as simple as a daily jog can increase your brainpower, improve your heart health, and boost your mood.

When you complete key tasks with huge benefits, you truly can shift your entire mindset and improve your quality of life.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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