I’m writing this from my heart because for a long time, I struggled with unproductivity.
It happens to everybody. You start out your day with a mental note to accomplish a couple of things and at the end of the day, you realize the only thing you’ve accomplished is getting through the day( which is not a bad thing, but sometimes, work needs to be done).
I have compiled a short list of four incredibly simple tips that have helped me become more productive /less unproductive. They may not all suit you and that’s okay, but regardless, they’re all worth a shot.
1. Have a good night sleep.
It’s no rocket science. If you don’t sleep well, you’re going to feel drowsy, tired and even act grumpy throughout the next day. The problem with not getting enough sleep is that you spend all your free time trying to ‘rest’or ‘take a nap’ to recover from the previous night’s sleeplessness that there is no time left for anything else. In the event that you do take a nap, you tend to over sleep and lose important day hours because of this. Getting a goodnight sleep is the first step to having a productive day and the national sleep foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep everyday.
2. Clear your space.
I’m gonna sweep the dirts away
Wosh wosh wosh
–Excerpt from a nursery rhyme my mother taught me
Only recently, I discovered that I accomplished more if my room was well organized. In fact, science says that the state of your room reflects your mental health. Therefore a scattered room represents a frantic mind while an organized room represents a calm and healthy mind. When I clear my room, first I feel like a superhero. I stand in the middle of the room for a few minutes and just admire the work that I’ve done because there, in that moment, I feel like I can take on whatever challenges life throws at me( I know I seem like an exaggerating flamingo but if you ever saw my room in its disorganized state, you would understand that arranging it is equivalent to saving the world). Secondly, an arranged room does not allow for those tiny irritating distractions like a bug or a leaking Satchet of water. Clear your space and this includes your room, your office, your bag, your desk and watch yourself become more productive.
3. Set Daily Goals.
Also known as To do lists. Also known as my favorite! I’m a sicker for to- do lists and I’m always making them. I write about it, I brag about it, I even tweet about it. A to -do list is like an annoying alarm that just won’t go off, but you know the best part about said alarm clock? It wakes you up! And that is the plan! To-do lists are a constant reminders of what you ought to achieve by the end of that day and even though it never goes off and keeps staring at you from the pages of your journal or wherever you write it, it keeps you on your feet and that’s the plan! I recommend writing these tasks somewhere you’ll always have access to like a desk jotter or your journal. Sometimes I write them on my whatsapp status (excluding personal tasks) because I need the pressure of being held accountable. Different strokes for different folks.
A to-do list is dynamic. While setting daily goals, you must understand that there will be other goals you may have to achieve during the course of that day but were not included in your list at the beginning of the day. For example, if you’re a doctor and your goals for the day included
1. Go to work
2. Have meeting with Mr A
3. Cook dinner
4. Order new shoes
and by noon, your boss asks you to read up on colonoscopy and present this information to him the next day, you do it. First because you want to keep your job and second because it becomes a new item on your list!
Here’s a picture of what my to do list for a day looks like.
4. Reward yourself.
The best part. I’ve come to understand that humans are motivated by the reward system. For example, we go to school so that we can be rewarded with a good job and good money in the future. We make relationships so we can be rewarded with love and companionship. We obey the law so that we can be rewarded with freedom and peace. We accomplish our goals so that we can be rewarded with satisfaction. That’s how it works. Actions beget rewards and rewards beget more actions.
But apart from the natural reward system, I encourage you to start your own reward foundation where you’re the sole benefactor and benefactee (I promise to research if this is an actual word). You don’t have to achieve every item on your list to reward yourself, you just have to achieve something. For example, on the day before I typed this post, this is what my to-do list looked like
1. Practice Yoga
2. Complete registration
3. Finish blog post
4. Read novel
5. Make playlist
6 Go to class
By noon, I had managed to go to class and complete the registration (which had been proving very difficult in the past). It didn’t matter that I had ticked only 2 out of 6 items on my list, I was overjoyed and rewarded myself with 5 episodes of Boston Legal and coconut chips( maybe too much but you get the point).
Productivity is underrated. I believe in getting things done and making every moment count. Do you? How do you manage to stay productive? Was my list helpful? Let me know in the comment box below.