I don’t know about you but it probably takes me about 20 minutes before I am fully capable of starting my day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life but I love my bed just as much! Even when I’m on vacation I love lazing around in the morning even though there is usually a beautiful beach whispering my name. It’s probably because I’m not a morning person, which according to all the self-help experts out there is quite detrimental to my productivity; however I would beg to differ.
I think it doesn’t matter what time of day you are most productive, what matters is that you recognize when you are. For instance, once I have woken out of my haze and had my tea, I am raring to go and can be pretty productive from about 10am to 2pm and then again in the evening from 9-12am. Yes there is a gaping hole between the 2 most productive times, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get work done in the other hours of the day. Obviously I do! I am a part of two businesses so I have to be productive all the time, it’s just not always at a 100 percent capacity.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, in order to live a life a passion and purpose, you have to take action and it’s important to keep up the momentum and the motivation to be productive. It’s my belief that if you know when you are the most awake and productive, you can accomplish more during this time and you will remain positive about making the changes towards reaching your goals. I know that this is true for me. I realize if I schedule the most daunting tasks during my peak periods of performance, I feel much more accomplished because I have the energy and focus to tackle the task at hand.
Here are 5 things that can keep you motivated and productive so you can achieve your goals and live the life that you have been created for:
- You must know your production capacity and gage your production or effectiveness against that capacity. In Steven Covey’s book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he puts it this way: “The P [production]/PC [production capacity] Balance is the very essence of effectiveness, it’s validated in every arena of life. We can work with it or against it, but it’s there. It’s a lighthouse. It’s the definition and paradigm of effectiveness…” What this all means is that you need to be keenly aware of how you work and when you are at your best. For most of us it’s pretty steady and consistent, however if you know that your capacity changes from day to day or even season to season, then you need to work within those parameters. When you do, you have a better sense of accomplishment which leads to continued motivation to forge ahead.
- Be realistic with what you want to get accomplished. Your to do list should not be overwhelming. When you are executing a plan, it is important to document all the tasks that need to be completed, but your day to day to do list needs to be reasonable. No more than 5-7 tasks. That way you can give all that you have to those tasks. Again this leads to the sense of accomplishment you need to stay motivated. When you check things off of the list, you feel a sense of ease and relief and when you keep the list to only a few things, instead of seeing a long list of things you have not completed, you see more check marks instead. It’s a bit of a psychological game, but it works! And guess what, if you do get through the entire daily list and you still have time and energy, no one is going to stop you from adding a couple of extra things to get even more ahead of the game.
- Be aware of distractions! When I work from home, my fridge and television can be a great distraction, so I try the best that I can to set a schedule for myself and know ahead of time what I need to get done in that time. I also have built my office in the basement, so some of those distractions are far away from me, like chocolate bars and chips! I also plug in my headphones, listen to some great music because this keeps me laser focused so I am not constantly checking the time, or my phone or thinking about my next snack. Another great trick I use from time to time is to time myself on a task. I will set the timer on my phone for however long I think it will take to accomplish my task and when the timer goes off, I move onto the next thing. Try this, you will be surprised at how much you will accomplish and how focused you will be.
- Find a working buddy! I find if you have someone just as dedicated as you are to getting the work and the to do list done, both of you can be extremely productive and sometimes it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. I happen to be a very collaborative person and with the right person I can get an even better product at the end. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one!
All in all, the best advice I can dish out about productivity is that you have to know yourself and how you work and leverage that! For me it’s morning and evening with a like minded person! Figure this out and who knows what you can accomplish!
It’s my honour to serve you! God Bless!
Written By: Nina Ganguli