We are always busy. Busy, busy, busy… but are we productive? Are we achieving everything we want or, are we just getting through the day only to realize that nothing substantial has been done?
I struggle with being productive. There are times I am on a roll and I do fantastic, churning out work and get closer to my goals. Other time, I’m in a slump. When this happens, I use these steps to get back on the productivity horse.
Begin with the end in mind
This is not new advice but it’s good advice . write out your goals. Write out your desired results.
The act of writing out your desires helps you visualize your end game and the success you want to achieve. It helps you manifest your desires.
“Life’s a journey, not a destination” so goes the Aerosmith song. But, this doesn’t work to improve your productivity.
If you don’t know your destination, you never know where you might end up. When it comes to producing good quality work and getting things done, the best way achieve success is to have clear goals.
Once you know where you’re going, you have to figure out how to get there. This isn’t rocket science. You know you need a game plan. Every article on productivity tell you to write out the steps that to achieve your goals.
But what is equally important is to write out the steps you don’t need to achieve your goals.
You don’t need to binge watch TV shows, you don’t need a better notebook and you don’t need to find your “ideal” space. You just need to start doing.
The world is filled with distractions, but you make the conscious choice of letting them into your life. So, don’t.
Remind yourself why you wanted to achieve your goal in the first place.
Try to design a plan that ensures you have plenty of steps that give you a sense of purpose and meaningful contributions to your ultimate goals. This is the only way you can feel like you’re achieving something and that’s an important feeling that will get you through.
Success breeds Success
Every time you achieve something, even something small, it makes you feel awesome. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
This feeling of success, no matter how minor, will drive you to be better. We all need encouragement in our lives. Even small wins, publishing the post you’ve been thinking of writing, can get the ball rolling and give you the motivation to keep going.
Indulge in Busy Work
Most articles on productivity warn against getting bogged down in busywork, minor tasks that don’t contribute to your goals.
But I feel otherwise. I think busy work can be a welcome change. Every step you take in life can’t only be focused on your goals. Taking a break once in a while is much required to recharge and refocus.
Also, it’s stupid to think you can survive without taking time to pay your bills and do your laundry. The key, however, is not to let those things make you feel like you’ve achieved something.
The whole idea of being productive is to achieve something concrete.
The best way to feel productive is to have purpose and be motivated by a sense of accomplishment. Design your plan to ensure you encompass this.