By Nadina Lupu
Nowadays, you simply have to be productive. In school, at work, in your personal life. We live in a create-on-demand world so you must have felt the pressure every now and then. The thing you always have to remember when it comes to being productive, regardless of the context: you need to have a clear mindset.
Clarity of thoughts, needs, of the objectives you have to attain. Apparently, wearing the same thing every day could also help, but that’s not on our agenda today.
Some people have a native skill in making the best out of their time. They are living the prolific life.
They achieve so many things by the end of the week as if they worked 100 hours instead of 50, and they still have the energy to enjoy themselves.
They are efficient, brilliant and healthy at the same time. If it’s not your case, don’t panic because you are not the odd one out. You just have to work on your productivity habits.
Here are 5 first-hand tips that won’t let you down:
1. “Frogs for breakfast” Do you know Mark Twain’s notorious quote that says: “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”? It inspired Brian Tracy to name his legendary personal productivity book.
The whole meaning of this unappetizing advice is that we should start our day by dealing with the tasks we feel like postponing. They are the most difficult and important, and this is the very reason for our hesitation.
On the other side, once you’ve solved them, you will feel free and rather enthusiastic for any other assignment.
Let’s say there are mornings in which there are one too many “frogs” for your taste. My advice for you is to cut your day in a couple of chunks, each of them with its own frog – it works perfectly for me. Taking a break after each part will make this technique easy and rewarding.
2. Manage your energy, not your time
Productivity is about doing the best job and still have energy and room left for other activities. There are numerous techniques that promote dividing your workday into sprint-break cycles. Some people find it efficient to work for an hour and then take a 5-minute break.
Others are more loose, they work 45 minutes and go outside for a 15-minute break. You’ll have to experiment until you find a technique that suits you best. The moment you’ll realize that you have to be productive in the long run, you will find ways to prevent burnout.
3. Healthy self-analysis
Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror and see your productivity flaws:
Do you have problems prioritizing your tasks?
Do you start the day already stressed out by the full amount of work you are dealing with? Do you head to the pit stops too frequently – texting, tweeting, sending e-mails or socializing on Facebook? Try to brainstorm a little about this and mind map your productivity habits. It’s very important to be completely honest in the process. Once you have the big picture, you can start setting deadlines for the changes you want to make. Mapping your progress and rewarding yourself can also be very stimulating.
4. Anchor yourself in the present Pay attention to the way you connect with people, the way food tastes, how you feel about different matters you come across, and how you are influenced by the outside world. It will uplift your awareness, and you will pay more attention to details.Eventually, details will turn into original ideas. And you need creativity in order to be productive.
5. Make the best out of your resources Productivity is about being efficient while using your resources. You have to plan carefully all your work,set deadlines to speed up the rhythm, find people who can add value to your projects, and objectively assess your actions according to the achievements. Whenever you skip planning, you eventually find yourself reacting to the day’s events as they occur, rather than being proactive about your objectives.
Feel free to share any other hacks about boosting productivity!
Nadina Lupu is a Creative Copywriter at Mindomo, a software that sets free great ideas and helps you turn them into action. Nadina has been a wordsmith for project and event management organizations. Currently, she focuses her writing on personal development, digital teaching and learning, business collaboration and team communication. You can find her on LinkedIn.
Additions by site author Douglas Eby:
Photos: Left: Office of photographer Michael Morphis, from article: Creativity and Chaos. Right: Stressed woman and clock from page about the Millionaire Time & Productivity Secrets program – see below.
Gifted adults: Brilliant innovation and extraordinary contributions – Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy.D. (author of The Gifted Adult) comments, “‘The wise employer knows that excellence and creative productivity are the result of a particular blend of internal and external factors: awareness, a supportive work atmosphere, appreciation, a great deal of challenge, and as much professional freedom as possible.”
The Science Of Emotional Intelligence by Medical News Today – “It’s a hot-buzz topic that covers everything from improving workplace performance and successfully climbing the corporate ladder to building the happiest of marriages to ending school bullying.”
Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life, Shelley H. Carson, Ph.D.
The Breakout Principle: How to Activate the Natural Trigger That Maximizes Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity, and Personal Well-Being – by Herbert Benson, William Proctor.
Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life by Lisa Grace Byrne. Sara Gottfried, MD (New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure) says the book is “an absolute must-read for any mother who feels depleted or overwhelmed. The only true healing is from the inside out, and this book provides the roadmap.”
The image at the top is “my workspace11” by Marion Joy – also used for the cover of the sample PDF of my main book – Developing Multiple Talents: The personal side of creative expression – follow link to the book site with reviews and excerpt articles.
Online class at the en*theos Academy for Optimal Living: How to Double Your Productivity with Abel James:
“Could you benefit from getting twice as much done each day? All of us have more to-dos in more contexts; family, work, community, yet sometimes exit the day with more to do than when we started. How do we manage increasing responsibility with the same number of minutes in the day?”
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Millionaire Time & Productivity Secrets program by entrepreneur coach Ali Brown. She writes:
“Years ago, my first mentors were men, so I modeled them… I scheduled every minute of every day and decided to be ultra-disciplined with myself, and my business. I had regimens for everything in my life, calendars for both business and personal, and huge list of goals for everything in my life, including even my relationships!
“And while much of this intense intention and discipline was good, I found my soul suffering. And then even my health. (And love life as well, but that’s another story…) But I continued to push harder and harder, because I thought that’s how you built a business.
“Until one day I had a breakdown. I literally collapsed on the floor, sobbing. My heart hurt. My soul hurt. And while I was a woman on the outside and enjoying my accomplishments, I’d lost my life. I had lost my feminine magic.
“Since then, which was several years ago, I’ve had a profound awakening in how to stay within my feminine energy while consistently moving toward my goals and getting things done. I reclaimed my magic.”
Learn more about the Millionaire Time & Productivity Secrets Program.
You can also get her free report:
Turning Time into Money: Productivity Secrets for Successful Entrepreneurs.