Let’s be real, procrastination has been a part of everyone’s life at some point and being constantly productive is nearly impossible. It is not easy to wake up every day and be ready to face the world with a smile on your face and be full of energy.
This search for a more productive workday has led to certain misconceptions about what productivity really is. It is about more than ticking off tasks; it is about getting your work done efficiently while also taking care of your physical and mental well-being.
Remember to be kind to yourself and embrace your mistakes. You cannot expect to be more productive overnight because you have probably spent years cultivating your existing work habits and those will not immediately change. It may look effortless when you are reading a productivity article like this one, but it takes hard work and discipline to achieve your productivity goals just like any other ambitions.
So, be patient with yourself.
I am not writing this from an expert point of view, but from a fellow human being, on my own journey to a better work ethic, but I hope some if not all of these tips will benefit you.
1. Use your morning to focus on yourself. In a world that is so fast-paced and digital, we have become accustomed to a lifestyle where the first thing we do when we wake up, is check our emails or social media. Doing this is dangerous and allows others to dictate your accomplishments. Put your phone and laptop down and start your day out by having a good breakfast, meditating, or working out. This will ensure you’ve got the necessary fuel for a productive day. (breakfast does not need to be anything fancy but if you need recipe ideas, look here: https://www.goplacesdigital.com/cooking-up-a-storm-with-sanika-shah/
2. Create a to-do list and prioritize your tasks because there is no point of creating a plan for the sake of it; it needs to guide you to make your day easier to get through. Additionally, whether it is handwritten or kept on your phone, keep your list as accessible as possible. The last thing you need is to be stressing over something that is supposed to make you more organised.
3. Tackle the most challenging one before lunch when you’re still fresh and alert. However, also figure out what time of the day you work best to ensure better results. Of course, not all work environments can accommodate this, so try to find at least 2 hours between 9am-5pm where you are energised and can dive deep into your work.
4. Take breaks. This goes without saying, but it is not healthy to work for hours on end without taking a few minutes every hour or two to relax. Even if you only spend 5 minutes getting yourself something to drink, this time gives your brain a little rest and forces your body to rejuvenate, especially if you are at a desk job.
5. Manage your energy, not just your time. Time management is essential to productivity, but so is energy management. If you are exhausted and can barely think, it does not matter how many hours are left, you will not be able to get your work done to the best of your ability.
6. Exercise. Do not think that you do not have time to exercise. You do, even if it is a quick 15-minute workout. You need to keep your heart pumping and blood flowing to reduce fatigue and maintain momentum, which, therefore, improves mental capacity. The release of endorphins also boosts your mood, making it easier to face the day.
7. Clothing is relevant because what you wear can make you feel more confident and puts you in a zone where you want to work. Even if you work from home, put some effort into how you look, don’t just stay in your pyjamas all day.
8. Get better at saying “no”. It is tempting to say yes, especially if you are at a new job and feel as though you are expected to or because you are excited to work on different projects. However, in doing so, you end up with more commitments than you can handle, and the quality of your work will suffer as well as your own health. Saying “no” is hard, but it is necessary.
Follow @goplacesdigital and my personal blog, @trailingpages, for more lifestyle articles that can help improve your daily routine.
by Sanika Shah