Let’s face it, everyone wants to be more productive and get more things done. Nobody wants to waste their time and life doing things that are unproductive. If we can choose, we will choose to achieve all our goals and live the kind of life that we dream about.
The problem is that most people have no idea how to be productive and get things done. They thought that being productive and sticking to their goals is all about being motivated.
The truth is that motivation comes and goes. And thus, we cannot solely rely on motivation to get things done. There will be days when you feel no motivation at all and you just want to rest.
So what should you do? Choose to manage yourself. Time management is about managing yourself. Here are 7 great ways how you can manage yourself and make your days productive.
#1. Turn your tasks into schedules
Many studies have discovered that people who state what they want to do in a clear schedule are more likely going to do it.
As what Heidi Grant Halvorson, a professor from the Columbia University said, “Deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal can double or triple your chances for success.”
What you need to do the make sure you get your tasks done each day is to formulate a plan and state it clearly when, where, and what you will do.
For example, instead of saying that you want to go jogging this week, make it clear to your mind by saying, “I will jog for an hour from 7AM to 8AM this Saturday and Sunday.”
This way, you are giving your mind a clear instruction about what you should do. And when the time comes, you will do it.
To make this method even more effective, choose to write down your schedule. This action will reinforce the schedule in your mind and your chances of doing the work will be greatly increased.
This is how productive people are able to get things done. They know that if they want to complete a task, they need to set their tasks as schedules and be extremely specific with them.
#2. Work with 100% focus
When it comes to being productive, a lot of people will think that multitasking is being productive. In fact, multitasking is not going to make you productive. It is only going to decrease your productivity.
This is because our brains are not wired to handle a couple of things at a time. We can only focus on one thing at a time. If you don’t believe, try to write something and talk to someone. You can’t do it.
Your brain will switch from one task to another. When you write something, you stop talking. And when you talk to someone, you will stop writing. Your brain cannot focus on both.
This is why if you want to be more productive, choose to work on the task with 100% focus. Do just one task at a time.
Don’t multitask and try to do a few things in one go. It will only distract you and lower your productivity.
#3. Start your day with high-impact tasks
Let me guess, you want to be productive and you want to get things done, the more the better, right? This is not always the case. What is the point of doing all the things that are not contributing to getting the results you want?
Don’t get it wrong, my friend. Being busy does not mean that you are being productive.
You can be extremely busy with a lot of work to do, but at the end of the day, if your work does not get you the results you want, you are busy for nothing.
This is why starting your day by doing the high-impact task is so important. You don’t want to waste your day working on menial things that do not contribute to your success.
Time is precious and we all have just 24 hours a day. And if you minus 7 hours of sleep, you only have 17 waking hours. And this does not include time to commute, rest, talk, eat, and time spends on social media.
Thus, follow the Pareto 80/20 Principle. Identify your most important tasks and then do them first. So work on your high-impact tasks as soon as you start your day.
You don’t want to wait until midday only to deal with them because you want to reserve your energy to get them done, as soon as possible.
#4. Don’t forget to rest and take breaks
Another important key to having a productive day is to take rests and schedule your breaks. Yes, you read it correctly.
You have to understand that being productive is not about working 18 hours straight. It is about creating the most result in the shortest time possible. In other words, you want to be optimal.
You don’t want to work 10 hours to produce sub-par results. And in order to produce optimal results, you need to make sure you have the energy, willpower, and focus to deliver the work.
Without taking any rest and break, it simply means that you are using your willpower and energy without recharging them.
Our energy and willpower work just like the battery bar on your phone. You use your energy every time you make a decision, think, and work on something. And if you don’t recharge it, you will eventually feel tired and exhausted.
This is why taking rests and breaks are important. You want to rejuvenate and make sure you have the energy to work at your optimal level.
#5. Turn off all possible distractions
One of the easiest ways to be productive is to get rid of distractions. When there are no distractions, you can concentrate and do your work better.
We are living in a noisy world where everything can be easily accessed and thus, distractions are everywhere.
The moment you want to search for some information on the internet, and the next moment you discovered that you have lost yourself on YouTube watching some funny videos.
So get rid of all possible distractions. Build yourself a bunker where you can work with full attention without distractions and interruptions. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign if possible. Lock yourself in your room until you get the work done.
Learn to say no to things and people that will take your focus away from your goals and dreams. Like what Steve Jobs used to say:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
#6. Get an accountability partner
Another method that can make you more productive is to get yourself an accountability partner or find a mentor.
When you have someone to check on your progress or you have to report your results to someone, you create the accountability.
And this actually helps you stay focused and get the work done. There is no point to say that you want to lose 10 pounds within 3 months and you don’t have to be accountable for the goal.
Instead, choose to get an accountability partner. And then share your progress report on your goal with your partner at least each week.
Tell your partner what you have done during the week and how was your progress. This action alone creates pressure and puts you on the line.
You will become more motivated to get the work done when you know that someone is watching you.
#7. Reconnect with your goals and purpose
Do you know why most people fail to stick to their goals and plans? The answer is pretty simple, it is because they lost interest in their goals and purpose.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
When you first set to achieve a goal. You are motivated and productive. You work on the goal and can’t stop thinking about it.
After a few days, weeks, or months down the road, and when your motivation faded, you started to lose connection with your goals and purpose. This is where most people choose to give up and start a new project.
Do not let this happen to you. If you want to be productive, give yourself a reason why you want to get things done and be productive.
If you don’t have a strong and emotional purpose, you will never have the motivation to do it. And if you don’t feel like doing it, why do you want to be productive anyway, right?
Therefore, always reconnect yourself with your goals, dreams, and purpose. Always remind yourself of why you want to achieve what you want in your life. Keep your eyes on the prize.
If you want more secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life, follow Shawn Lim on his blog StunningMotivation.com and make your dreams a reality.