Let me give it to you straight. If you go to bed with a smile, content that you did something useful during the day and that something is taking you closer to your goals, you are onto something!
If you have this feeling most days, you will be successful in whatever you chose to do.
BUT, if this feeling is alien to you, read on.
Do you go through something like this?
-You work 10 hours a day and still think you have not done enough.
-Your mind jumps from one task to another without finishing the previous one.
-At the end of the week, you feel like you have hardly accomplished anything.
-Do thoughts about these frustrations plague your mind most of the time?
If so, here are five things that you might be doing wrong:
-Not being sure of what your priority is
-Not planning tasks that need to be done each day the night before
-Trying to do too many things at the same time and usually ending up doing little or nothing
-Not having a list of your three-month, six-month and one-year goals
-Allowing too many distractions to get in the way
Four Steps you can take to increase your productivity tenfold:
Power of one: Focus on just one major task that needs to be done every day, no matter what. Make sure you decide the day before what this ONE task will be. The task should take at least a few hours of your time. Focus on this task until you are satisfied that you have accomplished it. In a month’s time, you will have completed 30 important tasks. I promise you will be on top of the world once you see your accomplishments in this way. Imagine your state of mind in six months or a year! INDEED LESS IS MORE.
This is where your short, medium, and long term goals will come in handy. Be very selective in choosing your task. Let me give you an example from my own experience.
I have launched my blog, fabulousbody.com, which required me to write articles, an e-book, and other valuable content for my readers. To begin with, I was not in the habit of squeezing out time to sit down and write. If I wrote 500 words per day, that put a smile on my face, and that’s the goal I set for myself. The task of writing 500 words per day, allowed me to meet the timelines of my blog’s launch date and other monthly milestones.
The feeling of accomplishment in moving towards my goals is exhilarating. I believe everyone should live for this feeling. While deciding on the task you will complete, make sure it is not too easy. Select a task that you think will make you slightly uncomfortable. For example, consuming 150 grams of protein ( how much protein one should have )was tough for me at first. Now it’s easy. Working for 10 hours a day was tough for me. Now it’s pretty much a norm. Even if writing those 500 words takes my whole day (sometimes two), I know it’s important for me to keep reaching out to you with this knowledge, and it will help me in the long run too. So decide what task is important to you and then go for it!
Divide your day. If you decide to work 8 – 10 hours or so, divide your day into three or four chunks of few hours each. Make sure you are in a place where no one disturbs you when you are working during those periods. After an intense period of concentration, your mind will tell you to rest. Give yourself a break then. By a break, I don’t mean switch on the TV or open Facebook; these are mind-draining activities that will tire you even further. Instead, listen to soothing and powerful music, take a nap, play with your baby (I can do this since I often work from home), or do something that recharges you.
Take a break of no more than 20 minutes or so and then get back to your work. Before lunchtime, aim to put in at least 60 percent of the total time allocated to work for the whole day. (On the other hand, many people I know do their best work after 11pm, so schedule your day according to what works best for you.)
Schedule your worry. If you worry too much—about being fat, about losing your hair too soon, about being not rich, about not being loved—don’t despair; we all have such thoughts. I am not going to give you motivational jargon about thinking positive, etc. Instead do this: Set 15 minutes aside and write all your worries on a piece of paper.
List everything and everyone that is troubling you. Do it now. Now, tear that paper and throw it in trash can. Mentally say to yourself that you are done with the worries. If you want to go a step further, burn the darn paper. Do it. Light a match, and burn it. It is very liberating to see all your worries burn away and turn into ashes. Does it work? YEAH! For me it does. I want you to try it and tell me how it goes for you. One other thing that happens when you schedule worry is you free your time to spend being productive and taking action instead of worrying.
List three to five shorter, non-creative tasks to accomplish every day. Most of us cannot afford the luxury of taking the entire day to write or paint pictures or do other creative tasks. We have businesses to run, bills to pay, and families to take care of! In addition to your one linchpin creative task of the day, doing three to five “non-creative” tasks is also essential.
These tasks can include the important phone call you have been planning for a very long time or taking time out to spend quality time with your family. Yes, write these things down. Trust me; what gets scheduled gets done. Even minor things listed on your to-do list have a higher chance of getting done than those you do not write down.
Don’t forget good nutrition. If you keep gulping down mugs of black coffee thinking it will keep your productivity and creativity at an all-time high, think again! Coffee is a stimulant that keeps you alert for a short period of time, after which you enter a state of anxiety, mood swings, etc. Before you know it, you will need another shot to keep the “flow” going.
I am not against coffee. I do drink it, but only in moderation. Don’t overdo it. Instead, try drinking green tea or even rejuvenating coconut water. Overall, keep your diet balanced. Vegetable juices are the best things to drink, and they will help your concentration. In fact, mixing one tablespoon of ghee in your vegetable juice can take your energy through the roof!
In conclusion, being highly meticulous with your time is the key. Anyone can stay busy for hours, but the real question is whether your work is aligned with your medium and long term goals. Only you know if it is!
What do you think about being productive? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.