I have realized in the past years that pushing myself towards more productivity, has made me accomplish more and carried me closer to what my dreams are. Most people relate productivity to work. It is true that productivity helps us to do our work faster and more effectively, however productivity is not limited to a job or work.
Productivity can push your personal life forward and make you happier and a more self-satisfied person. Productive people have more time for the things that are important to them. That may be work, but it also may be family, sports, hobbies or what so ever you may enjoy. Being productive means getting things done!
Looking back at a day and seeing the small and big things you have accomplished at work or in your personal life fuels you for the next day and keeps you motivated. Productive people shouldn’t be measured as the ones, that get the most work done, they also should be the ones, that manage throughout a year to be a good parent, keep their body fit, educate themselves and, yes it is part of it, to be successful at work.
Here are the 12 points, I have found to push your productivity level:
1 – Start with scheduling
The first step towards more productivity is to start writing down all your tasks with a concrete deadline. Start every new month, every new week and every new day planning your To-Dos. That gives you a long-term and short term perspective of your future tasks, and above all allows planning.
Many people start their day wandering to the coffee machine, then going to the bathroom, getting ready, and afterwards having their breakfast and going to work. Start your morning by reviewing what you want to accomplish today at work and in your personal life. This routine of checking your daily tasks and goals will give you guidance through out the day and fuel you with motivational sense for the next 24 hours.
2 – Stop wasting time with nonsense
In today’s mass media world, we have become busy coping with all the implulses and influences we receive every day. We loose ourselves most of the time looking at two-dimensional screens in front of us, looking at other people living their lives.
It is a waste of time! Too many people sit in front of their computers whenever they can, looking at other people’s profiles at Facebook, checking their pictures on Instagram, looking at stars living their life. Not enough people spend their valuable time reading inspiring books or articles, that could push them forward in their own lives. Instead they choose to look at others and get frustrated with their own life after having lost another hour of their life in front of an LCD screen.
3 – Just do it
Time wasted sitting around thinking about if or when you should start a task is a productivity’s favorite enemy.
If you have to write an essay of 100 pages, just do it! Obviously there is no way around it, so you might want to not waste more time wandering around and trying to beat your weaker self. The pain of writing that essay is only temporary. If you start your day saying, „I am going to write just 10 pages as perfectly I can write those 10 pages“, then you suddenly don’t see the large brick wall in front of you, but a task that you can manage for the day. There is nothing better, than looking back at a day and seeing that you have accomplished what you wanted to accomplish for the day. Just start and do it!
4 – Get a routine
Nothing is more powerful in productivity than routines. In order to gain routines, that make your days more productive than the days of others, askes for discipline and training.
When studying the lives of extremly productive people like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Richard Branson or Will Smith, you will discover that all these successful people in quotely eyes of society had and have daily routines. These people know when they are waking up every day, they know when they start their work, they know when they excercise and they know when they will relax. Peak productivity is not about luck, it is about having the right routines.
The best way to integrate a new routine into your life is to practice it over a sustain period of time. You will notice that if you force yourself to a routine, it will become hard to get away from it.
5 – Focus
Don’t be proud or jealous about multi-tasking. Don’t be fooled by the illusion that multi-taskers are the more productive people. They are not!
It is prooven that most of today’s successful people, successful businesses or other success story are based on the focus and commitment to relevant tasks. It is in our nature, that we cannot give 100% to one task while doing another. That is a law of nature. What we can do, is that we commit our very being to one thing and after that finally focus on the next thing. Be careful: small mindless tasks, like checking Facebook every 5 minutes while working on something different, can trick your brain into thinking it has accomplished something worthwhile.
6 – Do it right or don’t do it at all
Don’t waste your time redoing something or correcting something because you initially didn’t do it right in the first place.
If your boss asks you to analyze the figures of a competitor’s balance sheet. Do it right! Don’t risk a call into your boss’s office to clarify some comments you made. Not only are you wasting your boss’s time but also yours. Be reliable and stand for quality work. When taking on a task do it right in the first place, that will save you time and also show your boss or whoever your value.
7 – Write a To-Don’t list
It is not only about what you have to do during a day, a week, a month… or your life to make you more productive. It is also about what you should not do!
Every person has habits that influence his productivity. It usually starts already with the wrong breakfast meal and ends with too-late-going-to-bed at night. There are so many things that have become a habit to some people, but that could be eliminated only by looking at a To-Don’t list every day over a certain period of time. Writing down all the things that bother you and influence your productivity in a negative manner and reviewing them day after day can be the first step of curing youself from these bad traits.
8 – Eat healthy and work out
Eating healthy and nutritious food will help you to fuel your body with energy. Working out on a regular basis will guarantee a healthy blood flow. As soon as you are physically fit, your mind and body has everything it needs to move towards productivity naturally.
Your body and mind is the only thing that will stick with you untill the end. It is the only natural tool we got to reach and fulfill our dreams. It is the vehicle that brings us towards the things that we reach out for. Staying physically fit will guarantee optimal conditions to work on our tasks effectively and efficiently. A cook is able to prepare the vegetables for a meal faster and more accurate if she regularly sharpens her knifes. The same with our body. Why not put more emphasis in our body, the only natural tool we were given and that is the source of any action me take?
9 – Determine your talents
Trying to be someone, you are not, can be one of the greatest time loses of your life. Instead, determine who you are and what you are good at.
Once you invested your time in finding out what you are good at and then directing your life towards those valuable traits that nourish your talents, you will notice how much more motivated you will be and how much easier and successful life will become to you.
10 – Don’t say yes to everything
Don’t always smile and say „yes“. People-pleasers who say „yes“ to everything and everybody, are the ones that are constantly busy trying to be accepted and liked by others, and also the ones that lose the focus what is important to their own lives and for their own goals.
When saying „yes“ to something, always check on your own motivation for pleasing that particular person. Don’t find yourself saying „yes“ to too many things and people, and then failing to reach their expectations, or even worse loosing yourself and drifting away from your own goals. Test the power of saying „no“.
11- Be an early riser
Start your day before anybody else you know and be an early riser. It is not only one of the most powerful facts to gain more valuable time of your day, it also makes you feel great having accomplished something before anybody else opens their eyes to a new day.
Benjamin Franklin, Barack Obama, Will Smith and many other succesful people chose and choose to wake up earlier than others. People different to them find themselves either sitting in front of a TV in the evening long after they have finished their favorite show of the night or sitting in front of their computers looking at the same pictures in their Facebook Newsstream over and over again. Waking up early in the morning, will allow you to exercise, have a good breakfast or read an inspirational book. This will power you and give you a great start into each day!
12 – Get rid of clutter
Leave your office or your workspace in a picked-up manner every day and stay organized through-out the day, that will reduce the stress searching things or cleaning up big messes.
The tennis ace Andre Agassi would always say that he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag, because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted getting it organized again. It is basic: Mess creates stress. So clean out the clutter in your office to get more productive.