#1 Be specific
We have all had days where we don’t know where to start. So many things to get done in such a short space of time, and yet if we are specific in what we actually want to achieve, this list becomes a lot less overwhelming. After all, a target is much easier to hit if you have a vivid image of what needs to be achieved. So tomorrow, when you begin the day, be specific in what you want to achieve and when. You might set yourself the goal of going to the gym before lunch, or completing that report before you see your friends. Whatever it is, be specific!
#2 Reward yourself incrementally
A technique that I have always used to maintain high levels of productivity, is the use of reward throughout the day. Before you get ahead of yourself, this does not mean that you can go and binge on Stranger Things after twenty minutes of productivity. But rather, using rewards to help you throughout the day as you become more tired and less motivated. Let’s use revision as an example. Let’s say you have completed a mornings study, but find yourself lacking drive by the afternoon. So, you switch on some relaxing music to make the next period more enjoyable. After a while, you might find yourself feeling similar to earlier, and so you allow yourself a longer break to go for a run to reset your endorphins. In this way you are using helpful and pleasurable rewards to maintain your productivity over a long time period, rather than just a short spell of time. The same technique can be replicated in all situations. Whatever kind of productivity you are trying to maintain, use rewards to your advantage.
#3 Remain productive during your rest periods
I know its tempting, but you can’t simply collapse on the sofa after a good spell of work. It is important to rest, but you can do so in other ways, especially if you are looking to make the most of your day. In other words, you need to take productive rest breaks. For example, you could look to meditate. Although this may seem like you are not being productive, you are actually improving your mental and emotional state by doing this. Or you could read a book, again you are resting, but you are still improving and expanding your knowledge, which is great for you as a person. Do you see the connection? You are resting, but you are having some positive impact on your life, which maintains that productive feeling. This way we can sure to keep the momentum that we have built throughout the day, rather than letting it go to waste by, for example, by mindlessly scrolling through social media.
#4 Make your targets public
Sounds like a weird thing to do, but telling people about your targets can actually help you in your search for productivity. Letting people know what you want to achieve over the coming days, weeks, months or even years can strengthen your drive to get things accomplished. If someone else knows about your aspirations, in a sense, it’s suddenly not just yourself that you are letting down, but others as well. Of course, you should be focusing on yourself, but there are benefits to be reaped by telling others about your goals. They might offer you encouraging feedback, further reinforcing you to stay productive and work towards your goals!
#5 Step by step day by day
It’s easy to fall into a pit of despair when you realize just how much of a mountain you have to climb, especially when setting long-term goals. Often, it can result in feeling so overwhelmed, that in the end, you avoid the workload altogether. To avoid these feelings, aim to separate longer-term goals into smaller, subgoals. By doing this, you no longer have a huge mountain to look up to, but rather a small day trip on your quest to reach the peak. So before you put your goals on hold, just remember to take it one step at a time!
Take-home message: Just keep in mind that things won’t happen instantly in life. In order to continue your hard work over long periods of time, you need to keep in mind what you are working towards. But remember, being productive all of the time is virtually impossible. When you do catch yourself during these periods, be sure to not beat yourself up, and enjoy your well deserved break!
Let us know down below your approaches to maintaining good levels of productivity!