In a world full of responsibilities, inevitable distractions, and daily hassles, we are prone to confusing activity with productivity. Our lives have become a series of to-do lists, day after day; we create them ourselves to the point where we confuse what needs to be done with what actually is necessary.
Productivity refers to the consequences of the activity you are participating in. In other words, if the action someone is conducting has no impact in the future, it is undoubtedly considered unproductive. Likewise, if any action is productive in a track that drifts you away from your goals, it is regarded as unproductive.
So how can we not confuse activity with productivity?
1. Use This Time Management Golden Rule
Days turn to weeks, and weeks turn to months! You will realize that some tasks are fixed and never change. Question how you do them, and when. One of the most fantastic time management rules I have ever come across was ‘If it takes less than five minutes, do it now.’ Whereas this is true, it made me ask which five minutes to spend on doing what? For example, the five minutes spent on a morning task should contribute to my overall productivity throughout the day. This brings us to the next point.
2. Stick to A Motivational Morning Routine
As mental health awareness is going viral, many people are sticking to various morning routines that suit their characters and lifestyles. But what if you created a motivational morning routine? When you start your day by doing the most important thing to you as a person, it gives you a sense of achievement that takes over your attitude for the rest of the day. Even if you participate in mundane tasks, you’ll be productively finishing them off. As a writer, a morning routine is essential to shape my day. Getting up, making my coffee, and sitting down to write gives me the assurance I need that I have worked on the most important thing to me. Even when I procrastinated for half an hour, I know I have done the core part for today.
Bonus tip: It’s best to have a nighttime routine as well.
3. Acknowledge Your Productivity Paradigm
Like almost anything, we all have a pattern that triggers our productivity mode and puts us into action. To do so, you need to get to know yourself better. Do some research on your character.
Recognize what motivates you and what burns you out.
Some people are motivated by working on the tiny details contributing to the whole and putting effort into the dots before connecting them. Others are driven by comprehending the big picture and visualizing the final goal.
In either case, having a vision is notably crucial when it comes to productivity.
On the other hand, learning about the activities or the incidents that burn you out will keep you on track, knowing what to avoid to keep your productivity mode intact. Some activities drain our energies, even though they might seem trivial. If listening to the morning news puts you down, do not hesitate to cut it out of your morning routine.
One of the most crucial steps to knowing your productivity paradigm is to understand what are your talents, hobbies, and passions, and when to work on each.
Your talent is something you are good at without putting much effort into learning it.
Your hobby is something that you enjoy doing, regardless of your competence in it.
Your passion is something you are obsessed with and willing to spend time to improve on it.
Your talent could be turned into your passion if you love it. But remember that some people are talented at things that they do not enjoy doing. Turning your talent into a passion will save effort, but do not pressure yourself for it. Your hobby is best utilized as the thing you resort to when you need a break from all the craziness of your busy world. Your passion is your everyday duty.
4. Set Your Goals Straight
We all have dreams, wishes, and desires, but as adults, we are realistic about what to pursue, what to delay, and what to let go for good. Use your list of talents, hobbies, and passions to set crystal-clear life and career goals. Setting definite goals to yourself in the main aspects of your life will help you in two ways:
First, it will be less likely to miss any opportunity popping up that contributes to reaching your goal.
Opportunities show up, present themselves at your doorstep even, but when you are confused about why you are doing what you are doing, you are more likely to miss one of these opportunities that might never come around again any time soon. So pay attention, and refuse to participate in any activity that doesn’t lead to the primary goal.
Second, it will be easier to prioritize your everyday tasks and targets.
Our tight schedules and busy lives influence what we put first over other things. To stray away from distraction and stay on-track, setting your goals will help you know what to do now and what to do later. One of the most effective techniques is delegation. Asking for help is essential when it comes to saving time and energy.