Living a balanced life of productivity is difficult. We all have 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour. That seems fair, right? But there is a problem. The “to do” list appears to be endlessly mounting, deadlines appear to come and go like a freight train, and everything seems happen all at the same time. This represents the struggle we all have to be productive and avoid procrastination.
Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t feel like being productive though, and with this, we grow tempted to let laziness have its way. It is so easy to give in and take it easy, to put off things for later or even tomorrow, but more often than not, this kind of attitude is the very thing responsible for our mounds of reminders and missed deadlines. If you’ve been stuck for quite some time now, and are consistently feeling idle and uninspired, then you came to the right place!
Here are 5 ways to be productive and avoid procrastination.
Sometimes, a person’s biggest roadblock is not something intangible, but something physical. To put it simply, a disorganized workspace leads to a disorganized life. Tolerating a cluttered desk (or mind for that matter) will soon lead to distraction as everything is in chaos. It’s easy to lose your priorities that way. Declutter!
According to Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Joyce Marter, “There is less stuff to manage, tasks take less time because you know where to find things, and this decreases stress and increases your effectiveness personally and professionally.”
Let go of the chaos that has been storming your desk and mind for quite a while now and allow yourself to have a fresh start. Remove the physical barriers and watch your driving force reach its peak. A change in environment usually renews a person’s motivation. So get your things in place, and welcome your inspiration back.
2. Write it down!
Get a pen and a sticky note and write down the goals that you wish to achieve for the day. Other people feel like this is a waste of time. Surely, you are rushing and are pressured to accomplish things and writing them down doesn’t sound like a lot of help. But you know what? It really is! Taking your time each day to write down realistic goals on paper will help you focus only on what’s important for the day.
According to CEO of Funly Events, Adam Dailey, “Write down one or two things that you absolutely need to get done. Keep that paper on your person all day. Refer to it. Don’t do other things until you can cross those one or two things off your list.”
It’s a game plan about what you need to finish and how you begin each of them. Stick it near your computer or your corkboard to constantly remind you that you need to keep going and keep pushing. Finishing the whole list by crossing off one item at a time is not only satisfying, but is also addictive. Before you know it, you’ll be craving for more things to do and items to finish!
3. Block out any form of distraction
The tale of, “I wasn’t able to do anything today because <insert distraction >” has been told so many times before, and the thing is there is no end to this story unless we end it ourselves. Distractions wouldn’t be the ones to give up on us. We must instead give up distractions. If you still don’t know what your biggest distraction is, be aware of how you usually spend your day.
Take note of the seemingly little activities that you do and log them somewhere. You will then figure out what’s eating up most of your time. It might be chatting with a colleague or best friend all day. See, small talks aren’t usually as small as they claim!
It might be browsing unrelated websites for hours when you only planned to do for a few minutes. Whatever your distraction is, do yourself a favor and block it out. I know that it’s easier said than done, but just think of it as a simple step towards a bigger goal.
4. Surround yourself with productive people
Negativity is contagious. But the good news is, this works the same way with positivity. When you have a friend that continuously whines about tasks instead of dealing with it head on, it weighs you down and wears you out too. To feel positive amidst the negativity is a gift, but you don’t need to subject yourself to fight it each time. Spend more time with productive positive people; be with people who enter the office with positive energy. Positive people are very easy to be with. They look at tasks as obstacles to overcome instead of enemies that can harm them. Be with these people and before you know it, you’ll be just like them, shining your own beams of light.
5. Begin with the end in mind
Nothing is more self-motivating or rewarding than having a clear idea of what you want to achieve at the end of each task or project, and steadily working toward that goal. Imagine yourself accomplished and unburdened. Imagine yourself free from your mounting duties, relaxed, and worry-free. That goal must keep you motivated to the very end of your tasks. Remember, the sooner you begin, the sooner you will be accomplished, and the sooner you are accomplished, the sooner you will be able to achieve peak productivity!
What are your barriers to productivity? What can you do to change them?