In case you are wondering and feeling off this week (or for the past month), we surfed the internet to bring you the best 10 tips that will make you rule the art of productivity. We reviewed pieces from Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and The New York Times to save you the time to do it yourself.
But the first thing you have to be clear about is that it’s ok to feel like not doing anything, and it’s completely fine that sometimes you don’t. Give yourself that space to clear your mind and embrace laziness.
And once you have done that, you could try these tips. Some of them, maybe you’ve heard before, but rarely you put them into practice day a day.
1- Celebrate your small and big achievements
Let’s be honest, big victories are not that usual, and if we are constantly waiting for them, “most of us are going to suffer through vast deserts of tedium.” That’s how Teresa Amabile, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, explained to The New York Times.
And what are those small wins? It’s that simple like meeting a deadline, having a successful meeting, or just organizing your agenda. But let’s be fair, don’t think just about what you do on your work.
It counts when you wash that pile of clothes that were lying on that chair for a while. Or cooking that Instagram recipe that looks so good. Even if you play a little longer with your pet.
Imagine if you do one of those kinds of things BESIDES your job… sounds self satisficing, right?
2- Focus on the progress
As research has defined, it’s ideal to prove “short middles.” It means that you should break your goal into smaller subgoals, and in that way, you won’t break down the halfway, wondering how long it will take and what you should do next.
On the other hand, there’s a mental trick that can help you too. You have to focus on what you’ve already done up to the midpoint of a task and then turning your attention to what you have left to do. Like, “I’ve done 2/ 5 tasks required”, or “It’s going to be like I just do this again because I’m halfway”.
Remember to reward yourself with something at the end of that task that you felt so lazy about. It could be having a meal at that local restaurant you like, or maybe just a break to scroll through Instagram.
3- Do one thing at the time
Don’t push yourself too hard, and stop multitasking! It is more effective and efficient to focus on one task at a time, instead of changing tasks more than 10 times a day without finishing any. Remember that to be more productive, is about quality, not quantity.
4- Manage your energy (not your time)
Are you a morning/afternoon/evening person? You probably know the answer so decide what tasks you are doing according to your energy level during the day. Working remotely gives you that advantage.
In this way, you probably are fulfilling most tasks days or hours before their deadline.
5- Define how your routine stars
Choose an action that puts you in a productive mode. It could bring a glass of cold water to your desk, drink your coffee, or brush your hair. Whatever necessary to make you feel comfortable doing your best.
6- Set limits for your breaks
Maybe you took a mini-break to check your personal messages, Instagram, or what’s new on Tik Tok. Even though you thought it would only take you 5 minutes, you realized that 20 minutes have passed. So, why take the risk?
Define how many mini-breaks you are going to take before and after lunch and how long they will last. Even put an alarm if you think you need it (you do).
7- Make it easy to get started your productive day
How is your work area? Is it the same as your rest place? Is your bed there tempting you? The truth is that our actions are largely driven by environmental cues around us. So if you are constantly rounding your bed or with your phone at sight, all you will want to do is rest and procrastinate. Isn’t very productive, right?
Have only the essentials on your desk and something inspirational like some flowers or even a smoothie.
8- Clear your agenda
If deciding what is urgent and what isn’t is messing with your head, you would find the Eisenhower Matrix.
-Meeting deadline project
-Planning out work strategy
-Answer some emails
-Surfing the internet
Don’t underestimate a good to-do list! It will actually help you to get you through the week.
9- Be more optimistic
Start thinking more like a classic optimist by highlighting the positive and minimizing the negative parts of the job and of yourself.
To be more productive, think about what makes that task easy and rewarding, and think about similar tasks you’ve successfully completed in the past and the peace they brought you. You know you will feel free once you finish it.
10- Don’t self-sabotage
According to the NYT, psychologists say self-sabotage is when “we put off or ignore a situation or task to our own detriment because doing it would force us to confront our fears or anxieties”.
People aren’t always aware that they are sabotaging themselves, because they just think it’s laziness. But the truth is that self-sabotage can be dangerous to our goals because we are leaving for tomorrow that can give us that extra mile we need.
So, be extra aware of what you are doing during the day and how those actions are helping you to reach your goals.