Who doesn’t want to feel more productive? The new year means most of us are trying to achieve new goals and break bad habits. The truth is, by the second week of January about 77 percent of us have already lost track of our resolutions and are back to where we started in December. Instead of feeling bad, loosing confidence and unmotivated try these tips for feeling more productive that I’ve tried and really work for me.
3 Ways to Be More Productive
Okay productivity means getting things done, but not just anything, stuff you care about. So if you really can’t work on that paper, tackle the never-ending laundry piling up in the corner or feel less motivated to get off the couch try to do something small to get your brain fired up. Little things add up. Start by first watching this quick video on maximizing productivity:
- How to Maximize Productivity:
2. Check out tips from productivity Guru Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week.
This is the formula I started using, and I don’t always block out the amount of time he recommends, but the process of going through what makes me the most anxious. When I identify these feelings and the things on my list that bring about anxiety it makes me so much more productive once I cross them off my list.
Personally, I suck at efficiency (doing things quickly). Here’s my coping mechanism and 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things):
1) Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.
2) Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
3) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
4) For each item, ask yourself:
– “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
– “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
5) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
6) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
7) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
8) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
For more on his productivity tips click here.
3. The last thing to mention is to be mindful of your time.
I literally set a timer if I’m feeling sluggish or unmotivated. I set it for 5-10 minutes, because that much is better than nothing when it comes to tasks I’m dreading. When the buzzer goes off, I remind myself that “I just did something. Go me.” Seriously guys you’ve got to validate your effort and be your own cheerleader. It works to change the habit of putting stuff off into getting stuff done.
Good luck and try your best to get more productive this year.
Take Good Care,
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is The Guidance Girl. Her goal is to help YOU become the most confident person you know! Emily is an award-winning author Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, Educational Speaker, and parenting consultant. She travels around the country educating girls, women, and parents. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.