Once in a while you just have to hear it again. You might “know” that you ought to keep your to-do list short, but getting engrossed in the daily details creates a mile-long list of tasks. Reading (again) that a smaller to-do list equals less stress, opens your eyes and gets you back to center. So even though you may “know” these principles, it’s time to review and gain a new perspective with these 6 productivity boosting strategies and action steps for success.
6 Productivity Boosting Strategies
1. Check your associations.Stay aware of the thoughts and emotions you associate with certain tasks. You may have unknowingly started to build associations that are not helpful to you. For example, over time you may have built associations of stress and time pressure with writing your blog posts. Having an “a-ha” moment about what’s going on is a huge step towards resolving the situation. Don’t blame your blog for what’s really a life management issue. Try writing some posts ahead of time and create new associations of energy and creativity.
2. Prioritize your own work.Whenever you wake up in the morning or sit down first thing at your desk and check email and Facebook messages, you’re putting other people’s priority before yours. Although you certainly need to connect and check your inboxes, do not do it at the expense of your own work. Part of that work includes personal development tasks like reading, journaling and planning. Be intentional about when you work for others. Avoid giving away your prime productive time to the whims of your inbox and be sure not cheat yourself by working for others free of charge.
3. Shorten your to-do list.Do you realize that you have a finite, limited amount of time and energy? Keep your to-do list finite and limited, too. Consider making a small list on a sticky note and feel the satisfaction of getting it all done. It surely beats marking off three things on a list of twenty-five and feeling like a failure.
4. Do a little bit every day.Many people seem to underestimate how much we can get done by doing a few tasks daily. Small, consistent effort accumulates over time and leads to remarkable results.
5. Take breaks, rewards and recreate.Are you one of those who think that productivity only comes with exhausting, endless work? The truth is that routine breaks and mental rests are of immense benefit to your brain and body. You know yourself better than anyone, so plan ahead to allow for regular breaks in your day, week and month. Set up some rewards for your breaks and enjoy the increased feelings of wellbeing and energy.
6. Don’t wait for the right mood—get to work.Successful people work without regard to mood or circumstance. Make a decision. You have a business, not a hobby. Most great writers for instance, have a routine, not a mood. They work every day, not just when they “feel” right.
6 Action Steps for Success
Here’s your challenge! Think you got a hold of the strategies above? Then match these action steps to each productivity strategy:
- Pay attention to negative feelings, then check the associations you’ve created.
- Start your day working for yourself.
- Buy some small sticky notes for your to-do’s.
- Set a timer to do a little bit every day.
- Use the timer for your breaks and have a small reward waiting.
- Create a routine to help you stay consistent and then….Make a decision!