We’ve heard a lot of people including ourselves saying, I want to be my own boss! If only I don’t have to work for someone else’s business, life is going to get a lot easier. How many of you know that The more freedom we have, the more self-discipline it actually requires to get the things we want. Self-discipline allows us to exercise the daily habits that get us the things we want in life. For example, when we have the self-discipline to wake up early, we get more free time. This allows us to do more things than a person who wakes up a bit later. Another thing, if we are disciplined enough to save money, then we have the cash to take a vacation or make an investment for our future. It takes discipline to be productive!
In this topic, I will be talking about productivity which is very essential if we want to achieve our goals this year. But, what does it really mean to be productive nowadays? How can we make the most of every day? And, how to develop a productivity habit?
Before answering these questions, let’s go first and talk about time-management. What does it mean to manage your time? Time management is actually personal management or managing yourself. According to Brian Tracy, Time Management is the core skill of life. “If you are not good at time management, nothing is possible for you. But if you are good at time management, everything is possible for you.” What I notice about successful people I’m looking up to is that they are always cautious about how they use their time efficiently.
Let me go through each question and give you valuable information and tips that might help you increase your productivity :
- What does it mean to be productive nowadays?
The biggest distraction that our generation faces from being productive is electronic devices and people distractions. The first thing that most people do when they wake up in the morning is to open their smartphones, check their emails, reply to personal messages, and chatting with people who have nothing to do with their personal productivity and goals.
If you are this person, I just would like you to know that I’m on this journey with you. And, I’m on the way to completely break that bad habit.
It should be our goal to be productive the whole day and not just a few hours of our day. If we want to develop a productive habit, we can start working on our To-do lists. So how do we go about that?
1st we plan our whole day in advance, the night before. I personally love to use my planner and pen, and my online calendar when it comes to organizing my daily activities. So what I do, is that I plan all the daily things I need to do, according to priority. That means you’ll need to start accomplishing the task that is the most important for you.
The secret to making your time-management happen is to create a sequence of events. What you need to accomplish first. Then, what you need to do next. And so on and so forth. You need to be able to start the first task and make sure to complete it, before moving forward to the next task.
Write down all the things you need to do for the coming days. Here’s a tip that really works for me and might help you as well.
Since most of us already know our schedule a month or at least a week in advance. Open your calendar and the first thing you need to do is to block those dates and hours with your non-negotiobale things to do. These are the things that you can not skip and re-schedule because you have to do them on the dot.
Going to work, dropping your child off at daycare, client meeting, etc.
After filling in the day with your non-negotiobale tasks. Proceed on to other tasks that are important for you and might help you develop a habit to achieve your goals. The goals that I’m referring to are the ones that you set for 2020.
If you set a goal to exercise at least twice a week and this is your top priority. Go to your calendar, and look for the 1st available day and time slots where you can schedule exercising. The key here is to organize these tasks according to priorities. The first being the high priority. If your next priority, for example, is to invest in your personal development, then find a way to do it regularly. A 30-minute to an hour personal development training can already make a huge difference in your life. To share my own experience, I usually schedule my personal development training along with other tasks. Like I read a book or listen to online coaching while I’m on the train or tram. I watch online trainings that increase my skills while I’m preparing our family dinner. You can really be creative as much as you can.
How can we make the most of every day?
It takes motivation to be productive every day. I can not stress enough how important it is to set a time to build your personal life. it could be enrolling for a public speaking course, listening to inspirational audios, or reading high performing books. By doing all these things, we shift our minds to the long term goals. When we are focus on our long-term goals, we create smaller tasks that are highly beneficial and related to our major goals.
So how do we do it? List down all the things you need, or want, or should do that might affect your long term goals using a pen and paper. Then identify which ones are the high priorities and low priorities. Start working with the most difficult or high priority task. It could be finishing up a project or answering emails from your valued customers. The smaller tasks can be done at the end of the day. Do you notice that whenever you accomplish a small task, you get happy? It is because a chemical called endorphin is released by our body. Endorphin is a hormone that makes us feel calm and happy. Imagine if we accomplish the highest priority task, endorphin kicks in and we become unstoppable in finishing our to-do lists.
How to develop a productivity habit?
The biggest distraction in our generation is from electronic devices. According to studies, it takes about 17 minutes to go back to our work or task after we have been distracted by electronic interruptions. So the solution is to TURN off your phone while doing the most important task. Focus only on one thing at a time. It’s okay to turn off your phone for an hour two. Your friends won’t remove you on social media. So, the more you practice, the more it becomes automatic in your system.
So how do we exercise to become productive human beings?
We’re so blessed in this generation to have so many resources to help us in our everyday activities. Aside from using the classical way which is writing down a list on a pen and planner. We can make use of online apps that are many times free for download. They not only make our lives a lot easier but most importantly efficient. My family and I use the LastPass paid version but they also have a free account. LastPass is a freeware password management program developed by LastPass. It is available as a plug-in for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari. It’s a great software to use especially when you have so many online accounts and you don’t want to remember all your passwords.
Also, make use of post its and cards and tape them around your house where they are visible and easily found.
So these are my thoughts about being productive every day. I hope this helps you improve your journey to crushing your 2020 goals. If you have any suggestions or great ideas on how to have maximum productivity in general, whether at work, school, work at home, etc., please comment down below.