To achieve better productivity, there are simple things you can do every day, that will not require a lot of effort or time.
With the number of distractions you have to deal with daily, knowing how to stay productive is a major advantage.
The Costs of Not Focusing on Better Productivity
Your ability to stay focused has a big impact on what and how much you accomplish. If you don’t focus on better productivity, costs include:
- Not meeting deadlines, which means things will be delayed.
- Generating additional stress because you will constantly be catching up.
- Not feeling good about yourself, especially if you let others down.
- Lower levels of confidence.
- Not setting new goals because of your inability to deal with what’s already on your plate.
- Poor quality work.
Having daily reminders can help you start your day well and focus on what will benefit you most.
Having solutions to overcome your busy schedule can change the way you work and improve the results you achieve daily.
Most working professionals will admit they are busy most of the time. Allowing yourself to stay busy for long periods will not support you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The Benefits of Not Having a Busy Schedule
Not having a busy schedule has many benefits. These include:
- Not getting caught up with things that are a lower priority.
- Having time to think and form new ideas.
- Giving yourself a break from working all the time.
- Not feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- Becoming more productive and effective by focusing on high-leverage activities.
Being busy does not always equate to being effective. Knowing the difference between being busy and being productive will increase your daily outputs.
Most times, the less you do, the better quality results you will produce. Overcoming a busy schedule does not just happen. You have to implement workable or practical solutions to overcome your busy schedule.
There are simple things that will increase your productivity daily, which means you will consistently be more effective.
Knowing what to focus on is necessary to work smarter and do the right things to get you closer to an outcome you want.
The Importance of Staying Productive Daily
There are many things competing for your attention every day. If you are productive, it will:
- Give you a competitive advantage over those who allow themselves to get distracted easily.
- Speed up the achievement of the results you want.
- Allow you to have more free time.
- Make you feel good about the progress you make.
- Ensure you meet your deadlines and maintain your level of self-trust.
The objective of increasing your productivity is not to do more things. It’s about bringing the best out of yourself consistently, so you can create the results you want in your life.
To stay motivated consistently, we must have strategies to prevent inaction if we want to achieve important things.
Inaction or lack of action, will cause us to not complete tasks to achieve the results we want. Most people will go through periods of inaction and how we deal with it, will determine how quickly we can move past it.
What Causes Inaction?
Whenever we fail to take action, common reasons include:
- Conflicting priorities.
- Confusion or lack of clarity.
- Overworked and feeling tired.
- Inability to say “no” to new demands.
- Over-committed and feeling overwhelmed.
- Internal dialogue based on fear of being judged by others or fear of making mistakes.
- Lacking knowledge or skills.
- Low self-confidence.
Unless we have strategies we can use to deal with inaction, we will continue to have low levels of motivation.
To accomplish the things we want to daily, knowing how to use a To-Do list effectively can make a big difference.
If used correctly, a To-Do list can accelerate our progress towards our outcomes and boost our performance. The key is to use it in a way that will be complimentary to our working style.
Why a To-Do List May Not Work
A To-Do list may not work for some. Not everyone uses a To-Do and reasons may include:
- Not having an effective system to integrate it into.
- Using random or multiple lists without sticking to a single list.
- Not having the discipline to use it the right way so it works for you.
- Not forming the habit of using a list.
- Believing a To-Do list will not help you and add more pressure or stress to your workday.
- Not having your list with you all the time.
- Finding it difficult to use it in a simple way.
Whether we use a To-Do list or not is not as important as having a method of keeping track of what needs to be done.
We won’t know how we’re progressing if we don’t have a way of tracking our priorities. Learning how to use a To-Do list the right way is a big advantage.
When we understand why consistency is an important habit to have, we can use it to our advantage.
It’s highly unlikely we’ll achieve great things if we’re not consistently making smart decisions and taking the right actions.
What Does it Mean to Be Consistent?
When we’re consistent, it means we’re dedicated to carrying an activity or completing a task. It means we’re clear on what we want to accomplish and are taking the necessary steps to reach it.
To be consistent is a commitment we make to ourselves and others. It’s about keeping our word to carry out what we’ve agreed to do. Our level of consistency reflects our values and standards.
When we’re consistent, it means we’re doing what’s required now to achieve a better outcome in the future. Therefore, consistency is about repetition. It’s about doing the same things repeatedly over time to reach a desired outcome.
Why Do We Struggle With Consistency?
There are several things that can cause us to struggle with consistency. These can include:
- Lack of patience.
- Desire for instant gratification.
- Lack of clarity and focus.
- Not having supporting habits or triggers.
- Having a “all or nothing” mindset.
Leadership expert John Maxwell says, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
When we know the reasons why consistency is an important habit to have, we can take steps to develop it.
Our willingness to use speed of implementation to achieve faster results will make a difference to our confidence and performance.
This one concept can determine if we make progress and meet our deadlines. To use speed of implementation doesn’t require special skills or additional resources.
What is Speed of Implementation?
Speed of implementation is how fast we can apply or act on an idea, strategy or tactic. It’s the speed we can put something into practice.
Everyone wants more in life. It can include more success, more happiness, more wealth, more fame, more status, more skills, more inner peace or more knowledge.
Even though we all want more, not everyone will act on ideas that can lead to getting more. Our ability to put into practice speed of implementation can affect whether we get what we want, when we want it.
Benefits of Using Speed of Implementation
Here are a few benefits of making speed of implementation a way we operate.
- We can validate an idea much faster.
- We can save time because we’ll find out a lot quicker what’s working or not working.
- We can save money if an idea isn’t worth pursuing.
- We can achieve our objectives quicker.
- We can get more things done.
Our capacity to adopt speed of implementation will determine how fast we get ahead and achieve what we want.
Having effective ways to develop competence can help us improve our performance and become better achievers.
As we give more attention to developing competence in any area, we’ll create better results.
What is Competence?
Competence is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. It means we can do something well.
Having competence means having adequate knowledge and skills to carry out a task. Competence on a task means having the ability to think and behave that will lead to the successful execution of that task.
The Benefits of Developing Competence
When we develop competence in areas important to us, the benefits will include:
- Having greater levels of confidence.
- Completing tasks quicker or more efficiently.
- Making fewer mistakes which means we need less time to finish a task.
- Lower chance of compromising our safety.
- Becoming more knowledgeable and informed.
- Improving our chances of taking advantage of opportunities.
As we learn ways to develop competence in any area, we’ll not only benefit ourselves, we’ll also benefit others.
When we have a high intention to achieve something we want, with no attachment to it, we can achieve it faster.
The starting point to achieve anything new is a desire or an intention. The stronger our desire or intention, the more energy we’ll give to achieve it.
A high intention can be the difference between achieving something we want or not.
What Does Having High Intention Mean?
Having a high intention means we’ve defined what we want and are emotionally connected to it. It’s having the awareness and the commitment to do what’s required to achieve our goal.
We can make things difficult for ourselves if we have a high intention for something with an attachment to it. Sometimes, constantly striving and becoming obsessed about what we want, in an unhealthy way, can slow down our progress.
The ideal situation is to have a high intention to achieve our goal, but have a low attachment to it.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care or take action to achieve our goal. It means we don’t have to focus on our goal obsessively. We have to learn to trust we’ll achieve our goal at the right time.
The Different Stages of Intention and Attachment
- High Intention / High Attachment. This is when we’re constantly striving and pushing ourselves. It can lead to mental and physical exhaustion or burnout.
- High Intention / Low Attachment. This is when we’re doing what’s required to achieve our goal, but we don’t make mean anything about us. If we fall short or don’t achieve our goal, we know we did the best we could. If we achieve our goal, we can celebrate the win and be satisfied with our efforts.
- Low Intention / High Attachment. This is where we want to achieve something, but don’t take the necessary actions to achieve it. This often generates unhealthy emotions when we don’t achieve our goal.
- Low Intention / Low Attachment. This is where we don’t have goals or aren’t clear about what we want, therefore we do nothing new. Since we don’t know what we want, we achieve nothing of significance in our lives.
Our ability to have a high intention and a low attachment to what we want will make us progress faster.
If you apply this simple technique, you will be more effective and get more of the right things done.
Since we live busy lives, having ways that can make us work smarter is an advantage.
Does This Way of Working Sound Familiar?
You sit down to work on your first task. A few minutes in, you get a notification on your phone or computer. You read that notification and respond if required.
Now, you get back to working on your task. As you’re working, you remember you wanted to check something online that you didn’t check before you started working.
You switch over to your internet browser and before you know it, 15 or 20 minutes have gone by. You’re annoyed with yourself for going on the internet. You get back to your task.
You take several minutes to refocus and get back to where you had left off.
As you’re concentrating well again, your phone rings. Now, you’re deciding whether to answer or ignore it because you have done nothing productive so far. Since you’re already distracted, you answer it.
And so it goes. Distractions and interruptions will affect how much you produce every day.
The Downside of Working That Way
If you’re constantly stopping and restarting when you’re working, it will:
- Slow your progress.
- Cause you to lose focus.
- Generate more stress because you’re not progressing as fast as you’d like.
- Make you unproductive.
- Cause you to feel fatigued easily.
- Affect your ability to deal with distractions.
- Cause you to feel you’re always behind and trying to catch up.
- Not allow you to get into a rhythm while working.
This is a bigger challenge if you’re trying to do many similar tasks or repeated processes throughout the week.
There is one simple technique you can apply to become more effective.