In a world where entertainment is so prevalent it is no surprised that we can be left with a case of non productivity. Our attention is left right and center! Social media platforms, check! Web surfing, check! Phones, check! TV, check! … all that on top of our daily life and commitments.
For a LONG time I struggled with productivity… or lack thereof. I remember times of going to bed feeling a mix of frustration and disappointment. I’d mentally look over ALL the things I KNEW I should have done and had only kinda partly done.… yet again. I’d fall asleep with the resolve that tomorrow would be different.
It’s not until I really looked into what actually being more productive means that things started to change! Productivity is now a practice and topic that I take to heart and today I want to share 4 tricks to help you be MORE productive NOW!
Productivity doesn’t happen by accident or by chance. We don’t get productive like that out of the blue. And people who achieve a lot of stuff are usually down pat with their productivity system. There is a way of doing things, a way that helps us fit a lot WITH whatever amount of time we have leaving distractions for when appropriate.
“We all have the same 24 hours in a day, the question isn’t whether you have enough time. The question is, how well do you use your time?”
TIP 1 – GET CLEAR.
To be more productive you have to KNOW what it is you actually want because productivity is simply a vehicle towards the goals we want to achieve. Nothing more. Being more productive is the most efficient way to get from where we are to where we would like to be, whatever that may be.So get clear on what is it you want. If you don’t really know what you want you cannot expect to be productive or to be committed to being productive.
A great practice to take up is to get into the habit of WRITING DOWN everything you want CLEARLY. No random: ‘I want to exercise’ ‘I want to loose weight’ ‘I want to go on holidays’. NOPE! Part of being productive comes with being specific. You have to write what you want and be SPECIFIC about it.‘I want to exercise 30 minutes everyday’
‘I want to loose 5 kilos in 8 weeks’
‘I want to travel to Hawaii for 2 weeks’These are clear concise goals. The reason why getting clear is important is because it will help you remember your WHY. Why you want to be more productive and they will help you know IF you are being productive according to what you have written down.
TIP 2 – START EARLY
Waking up early, before everyone else is up is KING! I cannot tell you how much this practice will help you fit into your day! For me that means a 4.50am start and I love it. You don’t need to wake so early if you aren’t much of an early bird.
However, waking up 1 hour earlier than your current routine WILL allow you to focus on the things you want to do with a fresh mind!
Now the trick isn’t to just wake up early to spend on random stuff. The trick is to spend that one hour or however much time you’ve added to your day by doing the MOST important things you need to do. Doing this will help you achieve your goals. For example:
-Go for that 30 mins walk
-Work on that project you
TIP 3 – SCHEDULE
Schedule the things you need to do into your calendar or on your phone. Once they are locked in, there really shouldn’t be any excuses to not do them. It’s as simple as knowing that you have to go to work from 9-5pm.
It’s scheduled in even if you have laundry to do or meals to cook you simply learn to work around the 9-5pm schedule.
The same goes for when you choose to lock in a time for your daily exercise, reading, meditation practice or whatever will allow you to do the things you know you should do and thus feel more productive. The truth is, if you don’t schedule you likely will not do it.
There is always a time during the day where you can actually do what you need to do. Whether it be two hours earlier than your usual wake up time or one hour past. The point is, it is not time that is lacking but organisation and prioritisation.
TIP 4 – INCREMENT
By far this has to be my favourite way to work and to be and feel more productive, working through incrementation. This means that I will use a timer for any given tasks. I like to work in 30 mins incrementation.
I find that I am most productive when I use a timer and when I know that I have a time limit on a task. There are a few apps that you can use online to help you increment, personally I simply use my phone timer.
Incrementing is a great way to fully focus on your task because you know that you have a dead line. It also allows you to keep track of the time you are spending on a specific task. The thing is if you are not tracking time, you are wasting time.
We easily get so absorbed into a task that sometimes we will forget about time and this is definitely not the most productive way to work.
You want to work for a given time and train yourself to finish what you started within that period of time as well. That is what being productive is all about.
Some FREE apps that you can use to help you be more productive are:
–TOGGL: which offers both desktop and phone app.
–TOMATO-TIMER: that you can use on your desktop.
–YAST: also available as desktop and smartphone app.
Remember that being more productive is like anything else, it is mainly a habit that we need to develop. But applying these 4 tricks to be more productive will make a huge difference in your productivity levels if you give them a try.