In our fast moving and fast changing lives and careers, we often find ourselves hopping between countless number of tasks, commitments, situations that we end up feeling drained and exhausted. The question most of them have is – Is there an end to the tasks lists?
No, unless you want to be a Dead wood.
The question then is, while there is no end to it, am I really doing what I want to do? Am I really doing the best in what I do? Am I really progressing each day towards achieving my ultimate goals? Simply put, Am I being productive each day both professionally and personally?
As per Wikipedia, Productivity means Effectiveness of Productive Effort. It is a measure of both Efficiency and effectiveness of your work. In the context of Personal productivity I believe, Personal productivity is about striking the right balance of your time and your mind!
Here are 5 simple ways to boost your personal productivity in your daily life.
1) Start with Why – This is one of the fundamental aspects that must be clear when you pursue any work or any goal that you set to achieve. For most people this is one of the unexplored territories. Why is it important to know the “Why?” because, the answer to the “Why” gives a sense of purpose to the outcome and meaning to the effort that you put in. It gives the inner drive, an emotional connect that makes you work in the most effective and efficient way. It makes you feel fulfilled. It gives you the energy, the motivation to go out full and achieve your goals. It helps you to remain “Unstuck” with the question of “how” and “what”.
As popular Speaker/Author Simon Sinek Says – “When the Why is Clear, the how becomes easy.”
2) Act in spite of your mind – Have you been in situations where you had things to do that were important however, you still did not do them out of fear that you may not be able to solve it? You kept postponing it? Most people do so and they are unaware of why they do it.
It is the “Escapism of mind”, it is the chatter in your mind. It tries to escape from all the important tasks and indulges in tasks of less priority or non-productive. This drains your energy and makes you feel that you are busy and have no time.
Example: did you have loads of work in your hand and still were playing games on your mobile phone or surfing on the internet and your mind kept telling you, you can do it later?
You can overcome this by being aware of such mind trap. All you need to do is ACT. The moment you hear the chatter in your mind, start doing the task immediately “JUST ACT” and do it until you complete it. Do not listen and fall for the chatter, “JUST ACT”. The completion brings a sense of satisfaction, fulfilment and motivates you to complete other important tasks thereafter.
This is a sure way to boost your productivity.
3) Essentialism – Personal productivity can be improved by sorting what is Essential for you. This can be done by simply de-cluttering our mind with unessential tasks. Unessential tasks could be distractions caused by social media – unproductive chats, Video games and Obligatory tasks too. Get rid of people, things and commitments that don’t mean anything to you! Learn to say “No” to people and things not out of ego but because you respect and value your time the most on things that are important to you.
“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” Mahatma Gandhi
Remember to express this “No” with a firm conviction but gracefully.
4) Outcome List – Productivity can be greatly improved by making an outcome list instead of a To-Do list. To-do lists are overwhelming and often lost in the busy days. The outcome list brings specificity to your work. Write down what outcomes do you want to accomplish during the week and break it to specific day. Keep the list “outcome” focused. This can be an easier way to set priorities and stick with the outcome than be lost in pool of tasks. Once you do that, it is all about taking actions that are aligned to your outcome without worrying. This gives you a sense of speed and ample mind space to work efficiently.
As explained by Greg Mckeown – “It is to have a less amount of work but do it in the most efficient way.”
5) Resourcefulness – Resourcefulness of mind is deeply connected to your energy and energy is connected to productivity
In my experience, Resourcefulness is high in two cases
One when you have a stress-free state of mind:
To have a stress-free state of mind, ensure you have “Me” time. It is the time where you find peace, rest or shift in your state of mind. While there are different ways in which you can do so, like spending time with family or friends, hobbies, travel, movies, meditation, physical exercise etc. The important thing is you define your own “Me” time and not get carried away in others way. What works for you works for you. Period! The next thing is to make use of this resourceful state. As you remain in the resourceful state take up the tasks that you want to complete and just do it. While you are in resourceful state, you must choose to work on the most important or the task that you consider to be more complicated and just do it.
Two when you have utmost clarity:
Clarity of vision creates clarity in action and clarity in action boosts your productivity. Clarity ensures that we focus our energy on what to do, when to do and how to do it. While we can have clarity by focusing on essentials, another aspect that needs enormous amount of attention is to declutter the unwanted elements that eat your energy. This enables us to preserve our energy. Another way you can create greater clarity and focus is by including certain practices like meditation, physical exercise in your everyday routine. It stands as a great pillar. In fact many scientific research show that people who exercise regularly & meditate are more productive, clear and focused than the ones who do not.
“Productivity is not about being the best, it is about being better than you were yesterday!”
In conclusion, I would like to share what Albert Einstein once said – “if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”. You can continue to be lost in everyday busyness or you can be a pro by consciously choosing to be productive and get the most out of the time each day.
Thank you for taking time and reading the blog.
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