6 simple tips to improve productivity
Let’s try a little different way to improve our productivity. Instead of starting the day with our to-do list, let’s make a change and see the differences it may bring to our motivation and overall productivity.
But before that I want you to take a small pause to understand that there is no right way or one way to increase productivity. Especially on days when we’re going through or experiencing a slump or if we’re in a funk. So, it’s okay if this approach may or may not work for you. But I want to encourage you to give this a shot at least once or twice just to see how you feel about it. If there’s a shift in your mindset or energy.
In my experience, all of us have those days when we get bored of a routine or when our to-do list looks extremely scary and overwhelming. Most creatives and entrepreneurs I’ve worked with have complained most, if not all the time about feeling too exhausted right at the beginning of the day, so they tend to find ways to escape, taking the flight response and just don’t show up to do the work. They procrastinate and end up feeling very guilty over not showing up to do the work. We’ve all been there. It’s okay to skip a day of work to recharge but it soon tends to become a habit because we got away with it that one time and before we realize it, we’re repeating this pattern often.
When you realize or become aware of repeating a pattern that’s the first and the most important step towards making a good change. The idea is not to punish yourself but find ways that will help you feel motivated once more to get back to that routine. Here are some tips that may help you with that.
1. Make an accomplished list before your to-do list – Try to make this change and notice how your body reacts to this change. Usually, when I try to make this change, I feel energetic and happy, which motivates me to get started and get on with my day's activities. These accomplishments don’t have to be huge and a game changer, they could be small too. As long as they are meaningful to you and something you’re truly happy about. In my guide, get things done, I’ve mentioned how important it is to make this accomplishment list. How important it can be for our productivity and goals when we write it down. It doesn’t seem impactful when we just say it but makes all the difference when we write it down. So don’t feel lazy about writing it on actual paper with an actual pen. Make a note of how this feels to you.
2. Share an accomplishment with a loved one – There are always certain people who have your best interest in their mind. Your cheerleaders. We have this tendency to share only bad news with our loved ones, but what about the good stuff? What happens when you share the good stuff? I think it doesn’t even occur to us most of the time that we should share the good stuff too. Why don’t you try this out, start your day by sharing a piece of good news or an accomplishment with someone you know will not snub you. Does that have an effect on your productivity? Do you feel motivated and inspired to do more? It’s similar to writing an accomplishment list, only that you are likely to have a two-way conversation. I don’t always choose this, but it does help sometimes.
3. Listen to someone else’s achievement/success story – I woke up to this message that a follower left me. She talked about this achievement she had in her life very recently and she was overjoyed with the feeling and excited to share that with me. I loved the way it made me feel. I was struggling in my life at that moment and her message was so kind that it inspired me to keep showing up, no matter what happens. I was happy on borrowed happiness, from the news from my follower and I couldn’t wait to start my day. It was a different energy and I wasn’t going to waste it. I invite you to give this borrowed happiness a shot and see the impact it has on your productivity. Just try and see.
4. Start with something easy – Speaking of tasks/activities, I recommend that you start with smaller tasks instead of heavier and intense tasks that require a lot of energy. Especially the days you feel as if you’ve got to push yourself a lot. It’s not fully productive but it’s also going to help you move and get you started. Once you get into the groove, you can take it from there. Every time I’m in a funk, and If I’ve to write an article, I start with research instead of article writing. It helps me get in the groove and prepares me for when I start writing the article. I highly recommend this!
5. Change your scenery/place of work – I think when we’re in the same environment the walls start to close in. When that happens, I don’t know about you but I feel lazy and sleepy. I don’t get new ideas and start to turn to all the things that can help me procrastinate. When that happens, I change my place of work. I’m lucky that my work allows me to work from a café and I happen to take my laptop there and start to work. Changing the scenery helps me with my productivity as I feel less motivated to procrastinate and more focused to work.
6. Have a good breakfast/meal before you get to it – This is something a client told me helps her when she’s overwhelmed with her day. She mindfully and peacefully makes a good breakfast for herself and enjoys it in silence. After that, she gets started with her day and finds that she is more focused and creative. I can understand the beauty in this and a good breakfast also helps you stay active throughout the day. You’re not tired constantly and you’re energized. I also recommend this for better productivity. Especially on days when you’re not in the zone or a funk.
There are always going to be those days when you’re not feeling it and it’s always helpful to stay disciplined and show up the way it’s needed. It doesn’t imply that you force yourself beyond a capacity to push yourself, I do encourage rest and recharge but how often does that happen, that is a very important question and something you need to look at. These are very simple tips, but, they usually help me.
Sharing them here, hoping they help you too. If you happen to try any of them and if you liked this article, please write to me and share your experience with me. Don’t get way too serious or let down if you don’t find yourself very productive but don’t give in to excuses and reasons that are unhealthy or learn toward procrastination. Take it slow and find a balance.