Every day is different. Not every day is as challenging as the next.

The key? Routine. That is why you will find that most productive people all follow a detailed schedule. This is true for the 9-to-5 warriors and entrepreneurs alike.

The truth? Most people can be more productive with their time.

To help maximize your daily output, let these five key components be your guide — because a productive day typically features all of them.

Doing Something Creative

Whether it is writing a Facebook post, updating your blog, working on your screenplay or whatever it might be, doing something creative is a great way to get the brain going.

The biggest thing: You are doing some sort of out-of-the-box thinking. By creating, whether it is a simple drawing or knocking out a chapter for your first novel, you are expanding the mind.

The key takeaway: You don’t necessarily have to be labeled an artist to be creative. Creativity is in all of us.

Any Form Of Exercise

Any form of exercise will do the trick. It doesn’t matter if a person runs 20 miles or walks one. Outside of the health benefits that are associated with exercising, it is also great for the mind.

And yes, meditating can be thrown into this category as well.

Help Someone

Helping someone can start up a beautiful chain reaction. Whether you are a person in power or are simply struggling to make ends meet, helping someone, every single day, is a very achievable goal.

There is no shortage of people who need to be helped, and you don’t have to go along with this process in an extreme manner (e.g. giving away your life savings).

Simply holding the door for someone, picking up something that another dropped, donating for a good cause, visiting an animal shelter — anything. Being humane in any sense of the word is the gift that keeps on giving.

Planning Ahead — Even If It Is Just For Tomorrow

A productive day has to feature some sort of planning. After all, if we don’t plan ahead, how are we going to know what we are supposed to do tomorrow? While the mystery of not knowing what’s in store for the future is a beautiful thing, people also need to remember that the destination known as success is not something people tend to trip on, although the path to failure is sometimes along the way.

Being successful takes a ton of planning, and then some more planning after that.

Family Time/Recharging

Spending time with family, friends and loved ones is an important part of the process. It can be something as personal as dinner, or something less personal like a phone call home.

There are times when talking to another person is the last thing some of us want to do at the end of a chaotic day — and that is fine as well. As long as you are recharging in some sort of way (relaxing, watching TV, reading, etc.) before the next day’s work, then you will have capped off a productive day.