Simple productivity habits to ensure that every day you get the right stuff done, no matter how wacky your schedule is.
Are you productive in your life and work? Or are you just managing your time well? For me, as a speaker and writer, I consider a day productive if I can add to my work, i.e. by creating new content for my training videos or a new piece of writing, or adding a lot of words to an ongoing speaking or writing project.
Being a content creator is not the most straightforward work of all. And it’s easy to repeat your days without making noticeable changes in your work routine. It took me many years to find the right balance between the different roles I play, but I’m still constantly finding new ways to further boost my productivity, as there are several pending tasks on my desk. I would like to share with you in this article, what I have learned from my personal experience.
When you speak or write for a living, the number of words you produce is extremely important. But coming up with a thousand lines of junk is not the same as creating two hundred words of brilliant, purposeful prose.
Having said that, a solid goal to aim for should be productivity and not time management. Your measure of productivity depends on what you produce in a day.
I like checking off stuff and it really keeps me focused on what needs to happen next. It can be easy to put a routine together, but ensuring the drive to stick to it can be the hard part. Taking a moment to work through the whys and whats really helps with that.
Enough introduction, let’s get started.
1. Switch Off
There is both a positive and negative side to this, especially in these times of coronavirus. I feel more comfortable switching off my devices and just going deep into creative work.
Get a reality check on your To-Do list. You will find that some of the things you need to deal with are real, serious problems that arise in your ordinary everyday life; however, they do not yield results, perhaps other than avoiding trouble.
Your personal time is your personal time, so leave the work emails at work. I know this isn’t possible for everyone. But there are other things you can do.
You can set some time aside to have a cool drink in the evening, without a screen or your phone.
Lighting candles also fosters a sense of relaxation.
You can read a book in the evening if you work all day on a computer.
You can take 15 to 20 minutes during the day, to simply sit and enjoy your thoughts as you allow your mind wander off from work.
Staring at screens for extended periods of time isn’t good for your productivity.
2. Produce something daily
Part of my daily priorities is to create something every day.
It can be daunting to have a year-long daily project. But, doing something every day can change your life for the better, whether it’s gaining a new level of ability, cultivating latent talent, or just seeing what diligence and determination can achieve.
Producing something on a daily basis is a personal journey that can give you a rare opportunity for self-discovery and personal development with meaningful results.
Keep in mind though, that when you’re working on creating something everyday, it’s easy to get bored or burned out. So work on something you already like, and choose a consistent method or medium.
Before you commit yourself to going the distance, feel free to try out a few ideas. And be directed by your interests. It doesn’t have to be a BIG thing, it’s fine even if it is a tiny and seemingly insignificant thing!
3. Organize yourself
Spend time putting everything in place and set up systems that run smoothly to enable more productivity.
Organization is a key element of productivity.
Below are some tips to help you organize yourself:
- At the end of your workday, aim to get about seven hours of sleep every night and consider working in power naps during the afternoon to re-energize.
- Try to do one or two things (max) at once – this can improve your ability to focus and make decisions.
- Take breaks at work, to encourage your brain to daydream.
- For the next month and beyond, pinpoint your top priorities.
- Manage your time by creating deadlines and setting time limits for projects.
In the short and long term, organizing yourself will help provide you with vision and a sense of priority.
4. Permit yourself to focus on what you produce, i.e., quality over quantity.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average human being in 2018 had an attention span of eight seconds. With this information handy, you need to create short, but quality, impact in order for consumers to take notice of what you’re producing.
As humans, our tendency to be selective with our attention is not due to demographics, media consumption, or use of social media, but rather, it is the deliberate atmosphere we build for ourselves as we concentrate on a task / activity.
With that in mind, implement some strategies into your working life that will allow you to create high-quality work in the midst of distractions.
It’s not easy to be productive, but it’s far more rewarding than merely being busy. Figuring out the best way to boost productivity is a lifetime learning experience for all. I can’t guarantee that these tips will work for everyone, but one or two of them will work for you to some degree if you try all the 4 tips.
Now give them a try and let’s grow together.