Being productive o your full capacity is never an easy thing to do. Of course there are many tips and tricks you can try in order to increase your productivity but when you draw the line it all comes down to how much will power you can muster. The main problem with being productive which I can see is sticking to the schedule you impose on yourself. Of course many don’t get past the first point of making a schedule. But most often where it all falls down is with the execution. After about an hour of work many of us feel that everything is going great so a short break can’t hurt anyone. That short break turns into a longer break and then you find yourself behind schedule. And then you try to hurry up, and that’s when you start committing mistakes. And these mistakes usually cost you a lot of time. So now your way behind schedule and you start to panic and become stressed. After that there is very short time before everything start’s falling apart, you give up, and then you start feeling very bad about yourself because you didn’t do what you set out to do. So let’s see what steps you can take in order to avoid this sort of development:
1. Make a schedule. This is very important stage because it will give you a specific timeline for each activity. The most important thing which I can’t stress enough when making a schedule is to be realistic. Set yourself reachable goals. It is much better to set yourself not very high goals, which you can reach than very high goals that are almost impossible to reach. Factor in a time needed for mundane activities such as eating and sleeping, because you will not be able to keep up a schedule where you have to work eight hours non-stop.
2. Focus on your work. The most important aspect of being productive is concentration. Do not let yourself get distracted by all sorts of other activities. You need to dedicate yourself a hundred per cent if you want to have good results. You don’t need to check your email more than twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. There are people who spend most of the time they set aside for work constantly hitting the refresh button on their emails in order to see if anyone tried to reach them. So remember, no distractions.
3. Prioritize. Not everything is important to do. Always keep your eye on the ball. Knowing what is the most important activity you can make in a certain context is the key to being productive. If you are able to keep an eye on the big picture as well you can focus on the thing that will be most useful for the processes that are going to follow, and get that done first.
4. Take short breaks. Don’t get to close to your work. You need to have the ability to look at it objectively. Trust me if you work eight hours non-stop you will not be able to take a step back and see things in a different light. Try to give yourself some time to disconnect, about five minutes every hour in order to keep being productive for a longer time.
5. Don’t neglect to eat and drink. Many people become zombies when its crunch time and they need to get something done. This is never productive. If you don’t eat and especially hydrate on time you will become tired much quicker, and therefore you won’t be able to work as much. Also sleep is very important. A night lost will cost you about two or three days of being extra tired and not at all productive.
6. Plan half your time at most. Being productive has a lot to do with being realistic. You must try to foresee the unexpected in order to never be caught off guard. That’s why you should never plan more than half your time in a day. Leave the other half for things that might throw you off track. That’s the only way you can avoid not reaching the goals you set yourself.
7. Set doable objectives. I’m not talking about a lack of ambition here. But you need to set yourself objectives that are very high yet doable. It won’t be fun if you raise the bar to high and find out you are not able to reach it.
Being productive as I said is a byproduct of ambition determination and a whole lot of will power. And most of all it’s about perseverance. You need to be consistent day by day, and prove your worth every time in order to keep having a high self-esteem.