EE 049: 4 Ways to Be More Productive Without Losing Your Marbles
Are you constantly searching for new ways to become more productive? Making progress?
It seems that in this day and age there are simply too many distractions that we have to face on a regular basis. It becomes easy to lose focus on what we should be doing at any given moment because we’re constantly checking our social media profiles, surfing the web, checking email and texting our friends, sometimes simultaneously!
Everyone is given the same amount of time each day, yet few people find a way to actually use it to move the proverbial needle of their life.
What does it mean to be productive? For our purposes here, I’d define it as attaining results, benefits, or profits through taking action.
There isn’t one simple trick that will make you more productive. Being productive is a way of life, and is something that you will spend years learning and perfecting. If what you’re currently doing isn’t working for you, change your approach.
Sometimes you aren’t even aware that you’re sabotaging yourself. People tend to blame everything and everyone that’s around them for preventing them from being productive. However, sometimes you have to face the reality that it’s maybe the “woman (or man) in the mirror” who’s to blame.
I’m into calling a spade a spade, cool? Can’t change something unacknowledged.
Stop Making Excuses
If you’re constantly coming up with excuses not to do things, then you are to blame for your unproductive lifestyle. Case closed.
Most times, the excuses that you make up for not doing something aren’t even real. If you don’t find a way to deal with procrastination, you risk failure to become productive. Procrastination is not something that will simply diminish over time, it’s something that you have to face as soon as possible. It shouldn’t matter whether you feel comfortable doing something now, or not. In fact, you will have to leave your comfort zone in order to reach your goals and start being more productive.
Eliminate Time Thieves
The next step towards becoming more productive is to identify your time thieves and find a way to eliminate them from your life. Time thieves are basically activities that you take part in when you want to waste time. It may be scrolling endlessly through your timeline on your social media accounts or it might be watching TV.
Eliminating time thieves from your life will automatically help you improve your productivity level. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should forget about watching TV ever again or that you need to delete your social media accounts. It simply means that you should take part in these activities only after you’ve accomplished all that you set out to do for each day.
You’ll need to have self-discipline…that’s a topic for another time altogether. I can just feeeel the eye-rolls! I can hack it, I have teenagers.
Time Management Mastery
Of course, just because you stopped wasting your precious time on nonsense doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly be able to handle your tasks better. You’ll still need to learn a lot about how to properly manage your time.
For example, if you’re a person that performs well under pressure, then you should leave less time for the most important tasks. Although this may seem counterintuitive, it will actually help form a habit of completing anything in a very short time period. This skill will help you master the art of being productive.
Activity seems to expand to the allotted time. If you allow much more time than necessary, it is likely you’ll put off starting the task until the deadline is approaching.
And if you have no deadline…good luck getting that bad boy done! Am I right?
Know that you’ll never be able to perform at your peak all day. You only get about two to four hours a day when your energy levels are maxed out. This is the time when you should be trying to finish everything that you have to do on that particular day. You’ll need to find the part of the day when you usually reach your peak and use it to your advantage.
Trying to work or study 16 hours a day won’t really make you more productive. By spending this much time focused on a specific activity, you’ll lose your motivation and drive. Instead, try to find the few hours of the day when you are most motivated to work and use them to improve your productivity.
Create a Master “To Do” List
Lists can help you organize your life and your mind and therefore make you more productive. The simple act of writing out items by hand has an amazing neurological anchor…it’s really cool geeky science. (I’ll save you from it here, but may tackle that topic another time!)
Think about how many times a day you are distracted trying to remember what you need to do next. Or how about checking out at the grocery store and realizing you forgot the actual ONE thing you went in for? I was infamous for this at my favorite grocery store…”forget something Sam?”
This type of scattered thinking only makes you lose focus from tasks at hand, creates disorganization in your mind and your life, and diminishes productivity, not to mention gives the self-doubt monsters fuel for their fire breath.Be sure to subscribe to my blog to be kept in the loop! If you found this valuable, please show some love and share with your friends.