Alright, joking aside–I won’t venture to say that this post will cure your productivity issues completely, but hopefully it will inspire you to start searching for a meaningful and personalized productivity system that reflects who you are as a person and brings out your best. After all, if you are frustrated about being unproductive or not being productive enough, you are consciously or unconsciously recognizing your desire for positive change and transformation. And that is an awesome thing!Here are 5 ways, or 5 things for you to consider if you plan on cultivating more productivity in your day to day life.
1. Recognize that productivity is highly personal and individual.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” productivity system that is going to magically solve all of your problems. Figuring out your sweet spot or peak performance mode takes diligent practice, curious exploration and active experimentation. If your efforts and plans to be more productive fail (or succeed only partially) in the beginning, don’t be dissuaded by your “perceived” lack of progress. If you’re still going, you ain’t losing. If you have never before seriously considered how you can be productive in the best of ways, then it is only natural that it takes several tries to figure out what makes you tick. If anything, you have succeeded in eliminating what does not work for you, which gives you permission to move on to try something better. Keep calm and carry on!
2. Explore what “productivity” means to you & discover the things that make you feel productive.
As mentioned before, productivity is highly personal and individual. While we can agree that being productive universally means “actively producing large mounts of goods” or “having something to show for”, we all have our own unique definitions of what “productivity” means. More precisely, what does it mean to feel productive? Instead of trying to quantify your efforts and section them accordingly so that they will fit the limited space-time and work-mode allowed by the conventional definition of “productivity”, think about the last time you feel productive.That’s a long-winded sentence, I know. Phew!
What makes you feel productive and how can you cultivate that feeling more? If you are a mother, does it mean involving yourself with your children’s personal lives and engaging in meaningful conversations? If you are a writer, does it mean hitting that daily word count goal? Or does it simply mean a good hearty journaling sessions in which you’ve processed your current life lessons and worked through some of the emotional blockages you are having? Often, the things that make us feel productive are the activities we enjoy, value, and find meaningful. Identifying the things that make you feel “productive” will also help you identify and discover the things you may want to prioritize more.
3. Examine your relationship with time + definition of time.
This is perhaps something that is so important when it comes to productivity-but at the same time, extremely overlooked! Often, we are stressed out because we feel like we don’t have enough time to complete the tasks we mean to complete. Do you look at the clock and feel hurried, counting the hours or minutes that are slipping from you before you have to do something else? Or do you glance at your cellphone screen and feel absolutely confident about the flow of the day?
If you have a stressful relationship with time, it probably indicates that you are operating from a “place of lack”, which means that you have the tendency to become neurotic about “how much time you don’t have” instead of “how much time you still have”. Perception plays a key role in our relationship with time, and our relationship with time, directly or indirectly, impacts on our sense of empowerment and productivity. Therefore, it is so crucial to sit down and have a chat with your personal concept of “time”, and figure out a way to have a more positive relationship with time.
4. Choose productivity systems that make you feel GOOD.
There are so many of them out there available for your picking! Seriously, go to your preferred search engine and type “productivity systems” and you will be amazed at the resources available out there. One of them is bound to speak to you. And remember, you are under no obligation to follow a system to the tee. If only 60% of that system works for you, feel free to ditch the rest of that 40% and outsource the remaining productivity space elsewhere.
Focus on what makes you feel good and what benefits you. What you end up adopting into your personal productivity system should align with your sense of fun, purpose, and work pace. It should motivate you to engage with your work every day and allow you to see the potential of your work. Choose something that increases both your momentum and your excitement for the future. Going back to the key word: it should make you feel good!
5. Prioritize self-care; a.k.a. your HEALTH.
You! You are not a relentless machine, nor are you some divine incarnation with inexhaustible energy. You, YOU, are a human being. You need to eat well, rest well, take time for yourself so you can decompress and refuel. If you aren’t at your optimal, it is likely that you aren’t very productive either. Invest in yourself. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your pursuits as well as the people around you. It seems like such an obvious thing, but it’s funny that the busier we get, the more we tend to put off self-care, even though that is usually when we need it the most.
What are the things that would be considered self-care? Well, I think you know the drill: eat a wholesome diet, exercise regularly, process your experiences and emotions in healthy ways, meditate, enjoy some quiet time in solitude, connect/reconnect with your peeps, your culture or your family–do things that make YOU healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
However busy your life is, you absolutely NEED to take time for yourself. If you think it is selfish to dedicate time and effort for your own being, let me tell you that it is selfish not to. Being responsible for your own health and well-being IS being responsible for the people who depend on you. If you are unwell, how does that make them feel? On the contrary, if people around you aren’t very understanding of your need to put yourself first, how is that fair that you don’t get to be at your best?
Your health and your body is exactly what you choose to put in. Don’t wait until it’s too late, because unlike the majority of the mistakes we make in life, the choices you have made for your health are sometimes irreversible, and quite often, can literally and unfortunately, kill you.
The end? No, only the beginning!
I hope that this blog post contains some useful information that inspires you to be more productive in life. Also, if you are wondering about my threshold mapping posts–I will be publishing them next week, in 2 parts. It ended up being a couple thousand words and I need more time trimming down my babble–which is why I published this post first.
Anyhoo. What is your personal strategy when it comes to being productive? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay honest; stay true. See you next time & until then!
curling back into a lazy ball & back into her den