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How to Get Your Productivity Mojo Back
Many of us have strayed away from our tasks whether that be at home or at work, to divulge in the latest IG posts, missed messages and emails, to watch a funny video our friend sent and have a quick catch up with a colleague. A minute becomes five, and before you know it you’ve spent half-an-hour scrolling into a dark hole of TikTok trends or are talking about the latest celeb news by the water cooler.
Let’s face it, we’ve all become accustomed to procrastination. Trying to find a distraction from completing a boring task or holding off from starting a long-winded job. As we all become attached to our devices, our attention spans are beginning to weaken, with many of us finding it difficult to stay focused and be productive.
Productivity is a great quality for us all to have. It means we’re in control, organised and most importantly create more free time for ourselves. As many of us recognize our own inability to stay productive, we are looking for ways to encourage ourselves to stay focused, sourcing tactics and advice that can work.
Now, not every piece of advice is going to work for everyone, it’s a matter of trial and error at this point as we try to retrain our minds and bodies to stay focused on one individual task. In this article, I discuss the importance of productivity, the dark side of productivity and share a few tips on how we can boost our own productivity muscle.
In today’s world of hybrid working and working from home, more and more people have ‘free time’ or the opportunity to start a side hustle. Whilst it’s a great opportunity to bring in more income and do something you may be passionate about; the side hustle can bring about another long and stressful list of work that needs to be done. Amongst this, the #Girlboss aesthetic of juggling healthy living, gym life, full time job and more is encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle of becoming a workaholic. Whilst it’s great to want to do work and strive to better yourself, this girl boss attitude can make onlookers feel like they aren’t accomplishing as much as they should be in their waking life.
On top of the average person’s life of job workload, there’s this lifestyle many feel like they should be living, resulting in the creation of another to-do-list before work has even started. This can cause toxic productivity and while it may seem like the individual living the #girlboss life is achieving lots, it can actually cause major burnout and even depression from attempting to live a busy lifestyle and possibly failing at it.
The end goal of being productive is to make you feel at ease, in control and on target of achieving those big and small goals you’ve set for yourself. Toxic productivity is creating the complete opposite, making you feel overwhelmed, and you’ll end up procrastinating. To become better at productivity, we need to stop comparing ourselves to the social media girl bosses and take the time to learn and understand the pace only we can go at. While we can become better at it and develop the art of productivity it takes time to be able to juggle all the various tasks we should be doing in our lives – and even then, we’ll experience days when we can’t do or achieve all our goals, whether it’s due to time, changing schedules or we’re feeling naturally exhausted.
Why It’s Good To be Productive
Being productive and completing your tasks can be a real positive mood booster to one’s mental health and self-belief. It makes you feel successful, like you are accomplishing something within your work or home life. Since the pandemic many of us have learned the importance of balance within home and work life and the need for controlling these aspects of our lives. Being in control and productive has positive impacts as we become less stressed, less easily distracted with the end goal of creating more freedom for ourselves.
There is no singular level to being productive as it is different for every person. We all have various tasks and approach them differently. But one thing we all share is a sense of achievement when it comes to completing them. The willingness to be productive shows that we all have goals we want to achieve to further ourselves in our home and work lives. Whether that may be small all large tasks we have to tackle, we are positively motivated and encouraged when we are in charge and in control of such.
The strive to be more productive can result in a moment of self-reflection as we evaluate what we do and don’t do to help ourselves with completing tasks, why we procrastinate and allows us to become honest with ourselves as to how much time we spend avoiding tasks.
To help get the ball rolling to becoming the most productive you’ve ever been, here is our list of tips to adopt and gradually incorporate into your lifestyle to become the productive and focused individual you know you can be!
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7 Tips To Become Productive
- Turn off notifications – whether it’s at work or at home, our ‘pings’ can be a calling to procrastinate. It’s best to put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb to prevent any distractions from your apps. If you want to go a step further, do the same for your computer, as long as you’re not expecting any important emails. Even the appearance of an email notification can draw your eyes away from the task you are trying to complete.
- Condense and define your goals – many of us love a to-do-list, but are we doing them correctly? We can fall into the habit of writing never-ending lists, featuring a range of small, large and vague goals. It’s best to create separate lists. One focused on goals for the week and one for goals of the day. Limit your day list to 3-5 tasks depending on the extent of time each will take. This means you’ll create a list which is accomplishable, not overwhelming and focused. When writing said lists, be selective with your words. Rather than saying finish project, state an aspect of the project that needs to be complete etc. BONUS – keep a procrastination log. This is a separate to-do-list featuring tasks you’ve thought up during the day e.g. make a doctor appointment etc. This means you won’t forget about those small tasks but then it’s not impacting the tasks you should be focusing on. This awesomeness right here will definitely help you plan it out tactfully and strategically.
- Time management – the art of productivity lies under the effectiveness of time management. It’s about understanding how much time you have, how long each task will take and how to structure your day. Many people are most productive in the mornings, so it’s wise to complete your larger and more time-consuming tasks then. Furthermore, another good tip is to give yourself less time than you think you need for the task in hand, as it encourages you to focus and meet your deadline. In addition, when planning out your day, set some time aside in case of a change in schedule e.g. a last minute meeting.
- Find ways in which to make your to-do-list less of a chore. We can procrastinate due to even the idea of having to sit down and focus for hours on end. To make the to-do-list enjoyable complete it whilst listening to music or a podcast. Don’t torture yourself by locking yourself in a room or postponing lunch until the whole list is complete etc. Making the experience enjoyable will relieve the dreaded feeling and make time fly faster.
- Remember to reward yourself – It always feel like an accomplishment when you’ve completed your to-do-list, which is why you should reward yourself with a treat. Whether it’s a cheat meal, a reward purchase or simply a pamper evening. Rewarding yourself for being productive will boost your mental health and encourage you to continue to be productive. With a little soothing something like this. Or a refreshing something like this.
- Stop multi-tasking – whilst many of us think it’s a positive quality to be able to multi-task, it’s actually counterproductive when it comes to completing a list of tasks. Our minds have a capacity and when it becomes overwhelmed it can put us at a standstill on all tasks, making us become productive or completely then to a low standard. If you focus on one task at a time, in the long run it’s more time effective as you’ll have the task complete in no time.
- Take breaks – don’t glue yourself to your seat until everything is complete as you’ll only be making your to-do-lists become unbearable and unenjoyable. Giving yourself a break between tasks allows you to refresh you mind and approach your next task with new energy and prospective. Plus, if you work Infront of a screen all day long, it’s good for your eyes to step away and have a rest. Just remember not to milk these interval breaks as you might find it tough to get going again. Things we love when taking a break –
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