Being Productive is not about just doing a bunch of things, rather about doing the right things in an efficient manner. As you complete so many tasks in a day, it is important to evaluate, whether those tasks deserve your time and energy or not.
Everybody has 24 hours in a day and so, we can say we have a limited amount of time in life. It is important to use that time to live a happy, balanced and a meaningful life.
No matter if you are a student, doing a job or running your own business, our desires are unlimited and resources are limited. So, there is a need to stay productive in life.
Before mentioning the tips, I would like to draw your attention to the points written underneath, so that you can get best out of this post.
- It is not easy to change our old deep rooted habits in just one day. The fact is, it will take time. For that you have to keep patience, discipline and also forgiving attitude during the process.
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.Jim Rohn
- Instead of just reading, make a slight change. If possible, try to follow any tip in your life. For example, It can be to exercise for 10 minutes a day.
Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.Keri Russell
Without any further delay, now I am sharing my tips of productivity to you:
As everyone is different, their perspective to see life is also different. First and foremost step is to know yourself better, like what you want to be, what you want your ideal life to be and so on.
Maybe it sounds little bit boring or difficult, but it is important to live a life with a purpose. Based upon your character, core values, feelings and beliefs, draft a vision of your life. Don’t be too specific, but get a general idea about your dream life.
Most of the productive people follow the goal-oriented approach. On the basis of your vision, set some long term goals. Not necessarily to be 3 to 5-year goals; they can be just one-year goals. They should be realistic and achievable.
Set them according to your priorities in various aspects of your life, for example, financial goals, health goals, relationship goals, spiritual goals, social life goals etc. Also, make sure to write it down. Chances of achieving specific written plans are always more than oral vague plans. Instead of setting too many goals, rather focus on some few goals at a time.
Keep Track of Your Commitments
Review your goals weekly, fortnightly or monthly as per your convenience. Check if you are moving in the right direction, with the required pace. If your answer is in negative, you need to correct it.
Sometimes, while you are working towards achieving your goals, you may find that they are not your real goals. And it is normal. Your goals can change with time. Only by pursuing your goals in the real world, you can find whether you really want to achieve them or not. There is no other way round. So, change your goals if you find it necessary.
Break Tasks into Smaller Pieces
It’s easy to move a pebble than to move a huge and heavy rock. As by now, you have defined your goals, cut them into smaller pieces. Don’t make your task that much big and scary that you don’t even gather the courage to start. It is okay if you are not able to complete the whole task in a single day. Be consistent and try your best to complete it.
Create a Daily Schedule
You’ll feel a little bit uncomfortable doing this in the beginning, but once you get used to it, you’ll love it. This is my favorite part too. This will help you a lot in being productive. You don’t have to write a long to do list, which seems impossible for you to do in a single day. But simply write 1 to 3 tasks which are important to achieve your big goals. It will take 3-5 minutes to do so.
This gives you the clarity of what needs to be done. You don’t have to spend unnecessary time figuring out what to do, as you have specific goals to work towards. It will help you to make your day productive instead of wasting it.
Manage Energy as well as Time
You know time is precious, right! Being productive ensures that you are utilizing your time and most importantly energy in the optimum manner. Keeping this in mind, some points are written below to help you:
- Limit the Time You Spend on Social Media: If you are wasting a significant amount of your time every day in scrolling (you know what I mean) and knowing what others are doing, then you sincerely need to cut out the time. A study reveals, on average we spend 2 hours a day on social media. Here, I am not saying to get rid of it or deactivate all your accounts, but gradually reduce your time that you spend on it.
- Disable Push Notifications: Simply disable push notifications from social media apps. I must mention, my experience of using this method has tremendous effects in my life. We all have the tendency to see our phone, again and again. Why!! Just to know that is there something new has come in our phone like the message, or not. Disabling the push notification will help you in this regard. It will reduce your anxiety to see your phone with every new sound and let you focus on your current work. You can later check out all the messages in just one or two go, whenever you want.
- Keep Your Phone Out of Reach: If possible, you can put your phone in another room, away from the place in which you are doing the work. You must place it somewhere out of your reach while you are doing important things.
- Keep a Distraction List: Not to do list is as important as to do list. Writing it down can highlight the points where you need attention. Remember, recognizing a problem is the first step in fixing it. Then, find out the solutions of the given problems.
- Use Your Commute Time: Listen to podcasts or audio books, while commuting to and from work or school. You will not only learn something new, but also avoid spending extra time on social media. Otherwise, you can read news’ highlights and know what’s going on in the world. With that, you can easily take part in discussions with people.
- Get Better at Saying NO: I know, everybody wants to be liked by other people. For that, we please everybody, and have to say ‘yes’, while actually we want to say a big ‘no’. You should not be available for everybody, at every single moment. Instead, give yourself more time and have the courage to say no. It doesn’t mean you have to say it rudely. Rather, try to make them understand that your priorities are different.
- Ask for Help: Asking for help or delegating low value tasks to the other people, will save you time for important tasks.
Keep Your Body Fit and Mind Active
Mind and body are inter related and somehow affect each other. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Keep a record of what are you feeding to your mind and body, and be alert about its quality. It really makes a lot of difference.
A healthy mind breeds a healthy body and vice versa!zig ziglar
- Exercise: You cannot achieve 100% productivity with an obsolete machine, right! Maintain your machine, i.e. your body, time to time. Just 10-20 minutes of exercise or any physical activity daily, and you are ready to rock.
You can either workout at your home; do yoga, dance or aerobic exercises; go to gym; do running, jogging or walking; do cycling or swimming; play some outdoor games; any kind of physical activity as per your interest.
It not only reduces stress generating hormones in your body, but also improves mood and level of concentration. For me, 15 minutes of daily exercise work wonders. It helps to increase my focus on a particular task for longer duration. Also, it boosts energy level in my body and promotes better sleep.
- Eat Healthy: You have heard about the term ‘balanced diet’ so many times in your life. Our body needs nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins etc. to work properly. It is necessary to add various vitamins, minerals in our diet and take minimal amount of junk food in our day to day life.
- Be Hydrated: The level of water in a human body varies according to age and composition of the body. On an average, 60% of human body is water. So, drink sufficient amount of water during the whole day to keep yourself hydrated and full of energy.
- Take Enough Sleep: Our bad lifestyle can also affect our sleeping habits. Body needs enough amount of sleep every day. In my case, if I do not get enough sleep, I feel tired, and restless for the whole day. That reduces my efficiency of doing any work.
Our sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and during that time we move through five stages of sleep. It is better for the body to take rest in multiples of sleep cycle time like- 6 hours, 9 hours or so. Try to set your alarm keeping this in mind.
- Meditate: Meditation is a process to train the brain, attention and awareness using different techniques. The method that works best for me is to observe my own thoughts. Meditation improves focus, expands memory power, enhances immune system and reduces stress. Practice it and see the results by yourself.
- Self-Talk: Your thoughts influences your actions. You cannot take any action without thinking. So, be mindful about your own thoughts.
Thought is action in rehearsal.Sigmund Freud
Go on a date with yourself once in a while and spend some quality time; or manage to adjust some spare time to spend with yourself, and have a positive talk. Positive affirmations if repeated over and over again, can change both your thinking as well as your reality. This is wonderful, isn’t it?
- Get Organized: Throw immaterial stuff away, declutter and get organize. Be it your workspace, bookshelf, kitchen, wardrobe, rooms or anything else. Just make it simple to simplify your life. It helps you to focus on important things, this will improve efficiency.
- Develop a Morning Routine: Our brain works most efficiently in the morning, during the first few hours after sleep. At that time your energy is on a peak level. Deliberate those hours on important tasks. If you have no time for that, and you are always in a hurry to go to work/ school, then try to get up little early every day. Let us say, 5-10 minutes early than the day before. You can afford that.
Though I am still struggling with my sleep patterns, but I always love to be a morning person. I found I am most productive in the morning. There is calmness and silence in the morning. I prefer reading books in the morning with fresh mind.
Make your to do list for the day, do the exercise, read a good book. If possible, do the hard stuffs first in the morning from your daily schedule. And by the noon, you get to know you have done a lot of things, while others are still finding what to do.
- Stop Multi-Tasking: It takes a lot of brain energy to switch from one task to another task and then again refocus on the previous one. This switching between various tasks ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing. That is why, better to focus only on one task in your hand and leave the rest for their scheduled time.
- Take Regular Breaks: If you are constantly working for long hours without any break, then your mind and body will be tired and will not be able to perform their best. It is better to take small rests for say 5-7 minutes after every hour of work. It can be simple stretching, small walk, or likewise. In my case, powerful nap works best for me.
- Find Your Passion: You are never too old to learn something new. So, you can always learn some new skills. Find your passion and go after that. Join a dance class, or learn how to play guitar. Once in every 15 days or a month, is worth spending. You will feel pleasurable and satisfied because of that. It gives you the happiness and improves your productivity in other fields also.
- Reward Yourself: Your small achievements will push you harder to achieve something big. Try to reward yourself, with every small accomplishment. It may not be necessarily party or so, you can make a cup of coffee for yourself. Just try this, seriously it works (at least for me).
- Enjoy the Simple Pleasures: If you are thinking that you will be happy only after fulfilling all your desires, then you are thinking wrong. Try to be present in your every moment and enjoy it to the fullest. Instead of thinking about your past and worrying about the future, practice to live in here and now. Don’t delay your happiness by thinking, I will be happy only after achieving something. While you are moving towards your destination, don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful journey!
- Sit Back and Relax: Take a break from your repetitive life. Be lazy and do nothing, plan out a trip, explore a new place and relax, spend time with your family and loved ones or volunteer in a charitable institution and help others. In short, just do whatever you always wanted to do.
At last, I want to say only one thing, just finish whatever you have started, and then only jump on to the next one. Start small and slow. In habit changing loop also, once you have substituted your one old habit with the new habit, then only move on to the next one. Taking small steps in the changing process, will not only achieve something big in totality, buy also it will make the change easy and simple for you.
Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.Warren Buffett
All the best!!