Another day went by and you are left with a list of uncompleted tasks. You feel frustrated and overwhelmed.
Do you sometimes wish there were more hours in a day so that you could accomplish more?
Yes, I do too.
Well, we can’t increase the hours in a day but we can look at how to increase personal productivity and as a result be more efficient and achieve more.
Let’s start with the importance of personal productivity.
The Importance Of Personal Productivity
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
Why is personal productivity important?
Our personal productivity has a major influence on the results that we achieve.
When we feel that we are performing at a high level of personal productivity, we enjoy the following benefits:
- we feel efficient and successful
- we feel in control as our assigned tasks get completed
- our stress levels are reduced
- we have more time for pleasure and relaxation
- we feel greater life satisfaction
- we achieve personal growth
Judging by the above list, the rate of personal productivity is quite important as it can pretty much determine if you are going to have a happy life.
Too extreme of a statement?
I don’t think so.
Let’s look at the opposite of high personal productivity and how does that make us feel:
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Effects Of Low Personal Productivity
“It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.” – Nathan W.
When we feel we are operating at a low personal productivity level, we experience the following:
- feel tired
Those are not pleasant feelings. They are significant enough to determine how happy you are in life.
That’s why it’s extremely important to realize that not only we have the power to increase our personal productive but also there are specific things that we can do to achieve that.
How To Increase Personal Productivity?
“You cannot increase the quality or quantity of your achievement or performance except to the degree in which you increase your ability to use your time effectively.” ― Brian Tracy
Have you ever had a day when everything just flows?
You manage to complete task after task and you feel like you have a super power?
We all have those days on occasions, but is there something we can do to have those days everyday?
Yes, we can follow certain steps to ensure we are operating at an increased personal productivity level.
Step #1 Prepare for the day to increase personal productivity
– get ready physically – get dressed appropriately for the tasks ahead of you. Definitely do not stay in your pj’s or other comfy clothes that do not inspire high energy and productivity.
– get ready mentally – take the time to prepare mentally for the day. Visualize what a perfect day would look like for you. What feelings will you have, what kind of people will you come across, what kind of circumstances will happen to you. Doing this will help you get in the zone and you will be operating in the flow with an increased personal productivity level.
Step #2 Have a daily to-do list
You will need a to-do list for three reasons:
- to plan the day and know what needs to be accomplished
- to be able to see your progress, if you do not set up goals, how will you know if you are operating at a high productivity level
- it feels really good as you are checking the items off of the to-do list. You feel a sense of accomplishment and success.
Step #3 Have a plan of attack
Have a plan how you are going to approach the to-do list.
- make sure that you have clarity as to what exactly is required to complete the items on your to-do list
- learn to prioritize so that you know which tasks should be handled first
Step#4 Remove distractions and barriers
Depending on your set up, take the time to remove distractions. If you have a home office, make sure it’s a quiet place where you can concentrate and not get distracted.
Have all the tools necessary to complete your tasks ready and available
Don’t let social media distract you thorough out the day.
Step #5 Get the big tasks out of the way
This of course depends on your preference, but often it is helpful to complete the big tasks or the tasks that you are most dreading fist thing in the morning and get them out of the way. Once that is done, you can focus on the remaining smaller tasks with a sense of accomplishment and relief.
Step #6 Don’t get overwhelmed with big tasks – break them into smaller ones
We all know tasks that just seem too big to handle. Breaking them down into smaller tasks will make it more manageable. By doing this you will feel more in control and you will get a sense of achievement as you are completing the smaller tasks.
Step #7 Get organized – clear your mind
Very often we keep our to-do lists in our heads. This makes us feel overwhelmed and stressed. Instead, use calendars, tablets, laptops, cellphone, or notepads to write it down and clear your mind. This seems like a small adjustment but the benefits of unloading your mind are enormous. If you don’t record the ideas or tasks to do and carry them in your head instead, you are not able to relax or give your mind a break.
If you don’t believe this will make a difference, try it for a day. Everything that you want to remember, write it down and watch the space that you create in your mind. Give it a break by not asking it to remember instead of writing it down. Try it, you will be very glad you did.
Step#8 Take breaks and reward yourself
To eliminate mental and physical fatigue, take frequent breaks. Also, give your mind a break by allowing a few quiet minutes throughout your working day.
Find a way to reward yourself for your achievements.
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Evaluation Time – Be Kind To Yourself
“Growth is measured by the gentleness and awareness with which we once again pick ourselves up. The openness with which we take the next unknown step into the remarkable mystery of being.” – Stephen Levine
Keep in mind, that the final judge of whether you have achieved increased personal productivity will be you. There is no chart, or a test that you will take. It will come down to how you feel about the accomplishments of the day. To feel good is the key. When you feel good you have higher energy and you are motivated to do more. Work on that.
- eliminate barriers
- think of what is holding you back
- think of any negative beliefs you might have about yourself
- increase self-esteem and confidence
- do not let yourself dwell in negativity
Find a way to be gentle with yourself, and I promise you your personal productivity will increase. You can attempt to do many different steps and follow specific instructions but it all comes down to how you feel about your productivity level. If you are harsh on yourself, you will not be able to increase your productivity. If you are kind and understanding towards yourself and give yourself a break knowing that you are always doing the best you can, that change in attitude has the potential to put you in the zone where your personal productivity level is so high that you practically feel that things are getting done by itself.
If you can adjust your attitude towards yourself, you will also have a much happier life.
I really hope you have enjoyed this article. I hope you have found it helpful and that you can implement some of the suggestions. Please share your opinion or suggestions below.
I couldn’t agree more with all of these points.
I make a list of the things to do every day and it is the thing that guides me through the day giving me direction and priority for my actions. So that’s spot on.
What you say about breaking down overwhelming tasks into smaller ones is absolutely true. Often when you sit down to tackle something it seems formidable. But then you take a look at it and break down the pieces and see it’s not so bad after all.
Which point do you recommend as the most important out of these?
Thanks for your inspiring post!
Hi Sammy, thank you for your comment. I think they are all very important but my very favorite is #7 Get organized and clear your mind. Specifically writing things down instead of carrying them around in your head. I feel that this is such a simple adjustment and the benefits are enormous. You just get yourself a notebook or your favorite note taking electronic tool and every idea that comes to your head, and every thing that you remember you have to do, you just write it down. That way you give your mind a break where you do not have to worry about not forgetting things. Also, leaves your mind open for the more creative ideas.