In today’s society, “being productive” is considered a fundamental quality. But what does it mean? Most people associate the definition with the concept of working to the bitter end and / or carrying out more tasks than expected. But it is a mistake.
In reality, “being productive” means carrying out the established activities efficiently, that is, optimizing time, resources and energy and disposition. In other words, it means being efficient in managing the work and the “obligations” of every day, so as to live one’s life in a full and gratifying way.
How can this be done? Here are 10 actions to put into practice to really succeed .
1. Start the day right
Popular wisdom is not wrong: “ Whoever gets off to a good start is half the battle ”. Setting the alarm as late as possible or postponing the time to get up is a (bad) habit that leads to living the day with breathlessness. Making good use of time from the early morning avoids wasting energy unnecessarily due to the stress of being late and allows you to face commitments with concentration and clarity.
2. Set goals
Being clear about the objectives to be achieved is the sine qua non for acting productively. Starting any activity without knowing the goal for sure leads to hard work and little results and generates a vicious circle of fatigue and frustration that has negative effects on self-esteem and motivation.
3. Identify priorities
Defining clear, measurable and realistic goals is essential for being productive, but it’s not enough. To be truly performing, it is necessary to define the need and urgency of each and establish the strategies and actions that most of all are useful to achieve the various results. In other words, it is necessary to identify priorities in terms of purpose and means.
4. Establish a schedule
A key element of productivity is programming. To achieve the expected result by making the most of time, resources and energy, it is very important, if not crucial, to establish what needs to be done, how and when. The planning of activities must be flexible and be structured to foresee and adapt to possible problems, setbacks and restarts.
5. Start with the most challenging tasks
Aside from very burdensome or boring tasks, the tendency is to postpone. But there is nothing more wrong. The most demanding activities must be tackled immediately, when the mind is fresh and you are at a point of the day that allows you to face any problems and rethink the planning without being in trouble. Of course, this doesn’t mean wasting time. On the contrary, it means making a lucid and timely assessment of the state of things and reorganizing effectively.
6. Eliminate distractions
To be (really) productive you need to eliminate distractions. It seems self-evident but it is not, because the behaviors and actions that waste time, resources and energy are so part of everyone’s routine that they are not considered “distractions”. For example, keeping social media open while you work, constantly checking your email and using PCs and smartphones in parallel are habits that are considered “harmless”, but in reality they damage concentration and negatively affect productivity.
7. Go one step at a time
” Haste is bad counsel “, says popular wisdom. And once again she is right. The anxiety to reach the goal leads to act in an ineffective way in the “here and now” and to develop a series of negative and limiting thoughts about the future. On the contrary, proceeding one step at a time allows you to face commitments and activities in an aware and punctual way, leading to good results and generating a flywheel of trust, enthusiasm and motivation that positively affects productivity.
8. Manage time
It is not a secret. Productivity is closely linked to successful time management. Fortunately, time management is a skill and as such it can be developed and improved. In this sense, a very useful technique is the so-called “tomato technique”, which teaches how to optimize activities by alternating work and moments of rest.
9. Don’t procastinate
The reasons for procastinating can be many, but the result is always the same: postponing does not change the situation and does not solve the problems. Indeed, in most cases it feeds overthinking, which ends up stopping inaction for fear of not being able to manage the consequences of one’s choices and decisions. To overcome the impasse, the winning strategy is to take one step at a time.
10. Take care of the body and mind
Being productive doesn’t mean working hard, but working well. And to work well, your mind and body need to function at their best. For this reason, it is essential to take care of yourself, cultivating your passions, doing physical activity and dedicating as much time as possible to the people, activities and things that make you feel happy.