What does it mean to you when I say: Being Productive!
I think it’s safe to say that we have all been there where we have felt like there is too much to do or not wanting to do it at all or not knowing where to begin. One thing we should know about productivity is that it is not a linear process and it does not happen overnight.
Being productive is all about implementing our desires into practice, and lots of trials and errors until you figure out what works for you and what does not. It may take time but the end result will be worth it.
So, today, I am sharing with you some tips on how you can be productive that has personally worked for me. Here they are:
1. Putting it into practice
Sometimes, we learn new things but fail to put it into practice. Productivity is not just about learning about things or obtaining knowledge. It’s about the application of that knowledge in your daily life. Now, this does not mean that you have to implement each and everything you learn into your life. Try to practice those things that matter and can bring actual change in your daily activities.
2. Setting the #1 priority: YOU
The first thing in your to-do list should be the most important thing: YOU. So, use your mornings to focus on yourself. Looking through your emails or messages or calendar can only drain your energy and good vibes. Trust me on this. When I was in school, I used to be so stressed during exam time that I used to dive into my books the first thing in the morning without even bothering to wash my face. The result: I used to feel exhausted the whole day long. And, because my mind was not fresh, the answer I would write in my paper would not be anything creative, just those lines I remembered from the book. As a result, I used to feel discontent with myself no matter how much I studied.
So, before diving into your day, make sure to do anything that can help you feel refreshed in the morning. It can be anything like meditation, exercise walks, or having a wholesome breakfast. It varies from person to person. Do what works for you the best.
Now, this can be anything as long as it interests you. Personally, I would recommend reading some self-improvement books. One of my favorites is “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. There are also plenty of other books in the market by some of the most influential writers that can actually change your lives. If you are an audiobook kind of person, feel free to listen to those. Mindful and motivational reads can have a powerful impact on your entire day.
4. Creating a ritual
Creating a ritual when you feel most productive can do wonders. For me, I need everything that I might need while working in front of me at my desk from stationaries to some snacks. If I don’t have all those things, I find myself distracted even with littlest of things. But, when I arrange my desk with every little item I need, I feel myself go into an auto-pilot system and know that it’s time to get things done.
5. Make a reasonable to-do list
Being productive does not mean you squeeze too many things into your already busy schedule. I mean, do you really want forty things on your to-do list? Obviously not! You are only going to exhaust yourself.
Set tasks accordingly. Then, break it down into small goals and focus on one goal at a time. When you divide your tasks, it will be easier to pay attention to those with urgent needs.
6. Using a matrix
Now, you may not want to do this if you are just starting to organize your daily activities. But, trust me; this is one of the best ways to become efficient. You have broken down your tasks into smaller goals to prioritize it according to its urgency, but how exactly are you going to do it?
Matrix is the answer. More specifically, the Eisenhower Matrix is proved to be beneficial to identify your prioritize.
Now, it works like this: You can use a notepad or laptop or whatever is best for you and draw the Eisenhower decision matrix with one axis labeled importance and another axis labeled urgency. Then, take the items on your to-do list and categorize them as high or low based on their importance and urgency. For instance, if you have an English test the following day that should be on your high importance and urgency list whilst picking up groceries can be important but not urgent. In this way, you can identify your priorities and dive into action accordingly.
7. Starting strong
One thing I would recommend to do to increase your productivity is to complete most of the challenging or crucial tasks before noon when you have still got the energy and leave the mundane tasks for the afternoon or evening when you start to run out of energy.
8. Creating a system
Creating a specific system to do things can help you from being distracted. I used to be distracted a lot by social media and messages when I used to sit down to work which kept me from achieving the level of productivity I was hoping for. So, I developed a system where I reserved my social media or messages only during my afternoons when I am having lunch. In this way, it kept me from being distracted and I was able to finish my tasks on time.
9. Take a break
Breaks are very important. Being productive does not mean that you have to work 24/7. You need to take a break once in a while to recharge yourself and get back on the swing with more enthusiasm. You can listen to music, take a short walk, grab a bite to eat, talk with your friends/families, or just take a nap.
10. Honoring your accomplishments
Being productive does not just mean crossing an item from your to-do list. It means acknowledging your accomplishments. If you cannot see how far you have come or what you have achieved, what is the reward? So, after every item you cross off from your list; take a minute to process your accomplishment. It will motivate you to keep going on. You can either note down your achievement or self-evaluate it or share it with your close mates. I guarantee it will motivate you. And, if you think the task you are doing is not intrinsically rewarding, you can add your own reward at the end of each task like taking a short break or having an ice-cream.
11. Defining your “WHY”
This is probably one of the best ways to increase your productivity. “Why are you doing this task” or “Why are you trying to be productive?” The answer to these questions is very important to find that inner drive within you. When you figure out the purpose behind the task you are trying to accomplish, you will be one step closer to increasing your productivity.