Have you ever felt like you had too many things to do with your day and too little time to do it? I know that I have. When I was younger, I had a habit of filling my day up with activities, so many that I wouldn’t be able to complete them all. I would constantly either miss deadlines or place myself under so much stress that I would end every single day with an agonizing headache.
Have you ever felt like this? If so, then these next few paragraphs may be beneficial for you to read. My past experiences led to me to concoct a little recipe that I use to increase my productivity throughout the day. The ingredients are as follows; 2-part focus, 1-part prioritization, 1-part scheduling, 2-part rest, and 1 part actually getting the work done.
For a breakdown of the recipe look below.
An issue that I used to have is that it took a while for me to focus on whatever it was that I was trying to do. I would usually have a basic understanding of what it was that I needed to get done, but I wouldn’t be able to sit down and get it done. After years of paying attention to my work habits and finding the patterns within, I’ve realized that to get work done it’s imperative that we do 2 things;
Zero in on what you want to do
Zero-ing in on what you’re doing means exactly what it sounds like it means. Don’t multi-task, get one thing done at a time etc. Basically, do not put yourself in a spot where you’re stretching your ability to focus so much that you can’t get what needs to be done, done. After years of trying to get 3 or 4 things done at once (and succeeding on rare occasions), and seeing that I was sacrificing quality and time because of it, I’ve concluded that it’s bet to pay attention to one thing at once.
Rid yourself of all distractions
Distractions are everywhere, especially for a person who can’t help but pay attention to everything that goes on around them(me). When getting work done, people, phones, even your laptop can become a distraction, believe me. To get around this, while doing work put the phone down! Turn the devices off, rid yourself of noise (if you’re like me, work by yourself), and if you get distracted very easily, close out tabs and software on your laptop if you aren’t using it.
Schedule the night before
There is nothing that helps productivity like waking up every single day with an idea of what you’re going to
do. I’ve found that making my schedule the night before (I have a list of things that I do every single day, so I just add in extra things) can greatly improve our efficiency. While doing this, make sure to prioritize though. Doing so frees up time during the next day and, if done correctly makes sure that you get the work that needs to be done, done in a timely manner.
Prioritize your schedule
Scheduling and prioritizing go hand in hand. When making your schedule for the next day, simply organize your tasks in the order that you want to get them done. When I do this, I consider my circadian rhythm (basically when I’m most alert). Doing so allows me to schedule my most challenging tasks to be done in the afternoon because that is when my mind is at it’s optimal point. Prioritization may not look the same for everyone; make sure that you schedule your work at times that work for you.
Get some sleep
For those who don’t know, I am a recovering anti-rest addict. I just couldn’t/wouldn’t get any sleep. Behaving this way was killing productivity in all areas of my life. It wasn’t until I made the decision to take myself to sleep each night, allowing myself at least 7 hours of sleep that I was able to repair this area of my life. On average, human beings need a rest period of at least 7-8 hours of sleep to be productive the next day. Anything less than this results in a sluggish mind that simply can’t focus on any task that we throw at it; believe me I’ve seen and experienced it.
Take breaks in between tasks. Although this sounds counterintuitive, believe me, it’s not. Taking a 10-15-minute break (even an hour if time permits) aids our brains in their efforts to continue working on tasks that are thrown at it. Just remember that after the break the grind continues, don’t get lazy.
Get the work done
All that’s left is actually getting the work done. This part of the recipe is more of a mental one than anything because of what it entails. Actually telling yourself that you’re going to get up each and every day and do these things is the hardest part of the battle. So that you don’t burn yourself out from work, progressively make it harder (like exercise). If you’re new to having a jam-packed day every single day or studying with ferocity day after day, don’t overload yourself right off the bat (you won’t want to keep going). Instead, build your work load up in increments (this may not be possible for all but it’s highly recommended)
It isn’t very difficult to get things done, it just requires a mechanical approach. Telling yourself what it is that you need to do every single day is simply the approah that I took. To supplement this, eliminate all distractions from your work area and sit down and knock out whatever it is that you need to do.
Below is an infographic that discusses this in more depth
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Originally posted 2018-03-23 08:30:04.