We all can be guilty of procrastination and struggling with productivity, I mean after all we are all only human. I know that I am no different when it comes to trying to stay productive; sometimes it is just hard. Some days no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to stay focused, productive, or keep it together. Because I know that this is all too common a problem I wanted to sit down and talk to all of you about what I consider to be my top ten tips for staying productive.
One of the most important tips I can recommend is to plan. Plan out the things that you need to complete, and hold yourself accountable to that written and planned out schedule. By planning out your work or activities it can make it easier to concentrate on the things you need to do, and thus be more productive overall.
- Set attainable goals
Setting attainable goals makes it easier to accomplish your goals because you have broken those larger goals up into small digestible pieces. By having smaller attainable goals you will be able to focus more productively on those smaller goals, and that will help to prevent you from becoming too overwhelmed or overworked.
- Write things down
Writing things down is something that I cannot stress enough. Providing yourself with a visual representation of what you are trying to accomplish hold you more accountable, and makes you more likely to remain productive and complete your goals. It can something as simple as a sticky note with your to do list; it doesn’t have to be anything extensive. I find that writing down the things I am trying to complete and stay focused on is also helpful because as I complete something I can cross it off the list which helps to positively reinforce your worth ethic.
What I mean by declutter is to declutter the spaces where you plan on working or trying to complete an activity. Having a cluttered work space can make it more difficult to stay on point and focused because it serves as a constant distraction from what you are trying to do. Now I am not saying that your room needs to be spotless, but make sure that you have at least removed some of the distraction i.e. cleaning your desk off.
- Set boundaries and time frames
We all push ourselves, and in many cases when we are trying to be focused or productive we push ourselves even harder. This is where setting boundaries or time frame is critical. Set boundaries and time frames for when you will work, when you will play, and when you will rest. Having those demarcations between activities can help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed, and in return make it easier during those work periods to remain attentive and focused.
- Establish a routine or ritual
One of the biggest things I recommend to stay productive on a daily basis is to establish a routine, ritual, or some kind of schedule that you can use to hold yourself accountable each day. By establishing a routine you are setting yourself up for success right from the get go. A routine that you commit to every day will eventually become a pattern, and that will make it easier to maintain and to be productive.
- Work in time frames or batches
Working in time frames is key, and what I mean by that is establishing time frames in which to accomplish your goals. For example set yourself a time frame of one hour or thirty minutes to get one particular thing done, and allow yourself that time short amount of time to focus on only that. By keeping your focus limited in time frame and not multitasking too much you will be able to accomplish more.
So often when we are stressed and trying to stay focused and prioritize we forget to take time out to replenish our bodies, but this only makes it harder to be productive. Your body needs fuel to run, and that is especially true when you are trying to run even harder so remember to take time out to eat and drink something. It will help keep you motivated and energized to keep going.
- Keep your environment productive
Your environment is so important when it comes to being productive. If you have an environment that is too noisy, disorganized or cluttered (like I write about in number four) it is always harder to try and stay focused and productive in your work or activities. The key is establishing an environment that is conducive to your work and effort so that you can make the most out of your energy and be the most productive.
10. Remind yourself
Remind yourself, you are probably thinking what? But this may honestly be one of the most important tips I can recommend when it comes to preventing procrastination, staying focused, and remaining productive. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be a perfectionist; remind yourself that you can only handle so much at one time; and remind yourself that sometimes you just need to take a break instead of continuing to push. Remind yourself that sometimes it just isn’t the right time to be productive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be even an hour later.