What’s the deal with our productivity-centered culture? All this talk about “optimizing” this and “automating” that. Tips and tricks and guides and hacks.
Here’s why we’re all obsessed with productivity. It’s not to make our bosses happy or to look busy at work. It’s not to boost our ego or leave everyone else in the dust.
It’s because getting sh*t done makes us feel good, provides us with a sense of accomplishment, and ensures we’re making progress towards the lives we want.
Productivity is, in a chaotic world, a system to help us stay focused.
Define Your Priorities
Speaking of priorities, make sure you have a grasp of what’s important to you right now. What’s your mission? Knowing this will help you put your to do list in order.
To do lists are useful because they help you see the big picture. You may not know when or how each item will get done, but you have a general sense of what’s on your mind.
What’s the point of being wildly productive if you don’t take the time to acknowledge your efforts? Celebrate every small victory.
Take Care of Yourself
You’re not useful to anyone once you’ve hit the burnout phase. The good news is, burnout is avoidable! Get enough sleep, eat to nourish your body, take dance breaks, enjoy yourself, and aim for consistent daily progress.
Understand that there’s no exact formula for getting sh*t done. Activities will take longer than planned for, you’ll lose steam, you’ll get distracted, you’ll completely give up. And that’s okay. It’s all part of the process.
Meditation slows down the mind and preps us for our daily struggles. In a reactive society, mediation is the proactive approach to managing anxiety. A few minutes of meditation per day could prevent hours of stress later on.
Focus On One Thing
We’re so used to juggling multiple activities at one time that we consider multitasking the norm. We’re conditioned to jump from task to task, with no concern for the repercussions. Instead of giving our full attention to one thing, we’re spreading ourselves thin.
Allow Time for Deep Concentration
There are some projects you simply cannot complete without dedicated concentration. These are the projects that require every bit of your attention and mental ability to perform.
Learn to Say No
If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious or depleted, chances are you’ve got too much on your plate. It’s okay to say no.
Ask for Help
Learn to delegate. Your time is best spent on activities that bring you the most reward, and help you make the most progress towards meaningful goals. If you’re spending too much time on small details, it may serve you to delegate, outsource, and accept help in certain areas.
Break Large Projects into Small Steps
Overeagerness can kill productivity. We get hyped up over the big picture and want to tackle everything at once. The trick to success is to create small, actionable steps towards a larger goal.
Focus on Progress Not Perfection
Here’s the sneaky thing about perfection, it prohibits us from ever being satisfied with our work. Instead of focusing on an ideal outcome, we can start to take notice of how good it feels to see something through from start to finish.