Whether you are still in school or are beginning the journey of full-time employment, productivity is one of the main things that will get you where you want to be. However, being productive on a consistent basis is a seriously difficult feat. Here are some painless tips to get you started. All-right, these are almost painless…the whole waking up early thing may be a little tricky at first.
1. They get an early start.
Productive people start of the morning earlier than needed so they can have time to reflect upon the type of day they want to have, and the goals they would like to accomplish.
Productivity pro-tip: If you are not a morning person, set a goal to wake up five minutes earlier each morning and work your way up to thirty minutes. This way you still have time to map out your day in peace, and you are also not quite as tired.
2. They map out schedules, not to-do lists.
Productive people budget their time wisely to complete needed tasks, but they also have a specific time slot for personal pursuits and time with family and friends. This keeps them on track and motivated to continue to complete more, instead of just the bare minimum.
Productivity pro-tip: Don’t forget to schedule some breaks in as well.
3. Productive people carve out non-negotiable time.
For some this means sitting with a glass of wine and a good book or show, while for others it means hitting the yoga class after work. Either way, productive people have a set amount of time each day that they hold themselves accountable for, not because it is something that is absolutely necessary, but because it’s something that makes them feel good.
Productivity Pro-Tip: Find what makes you feel relaxed and good and carve out some time to do this activity on a daily basis. Even just 20 minutes will give you a completely new perspective.
4. They assume people genuinely enjoy being around them.
Productive people don’t worry or fear that others are out to get them, they simply believe they are rock-stars and have a lot to bring to the table. This helps them continue to be proactive and forge new ideas to achieve goals.
Productivity pro-tip: You probably don’t hear this enough, but you ARE a rock-star, and you do have great things to bring to the table. Never lose sight of that.
5. Productive people set realistic expectations.
It may seem counter-productive, but setting realistic expectations helps productive people keep a level-head and manage tasks more efficiently.
Productivity pro-tip: Devote thirty-minutes of each day to a project, as opposed to waiting to the good ole night before the deadline or due date. This may not always be easy, but it is realistic and will help you keep your cool through stressful times.
6. They are active listeners.
Productive people take the time to be truly present with others they are interacting with. They listen to what the other person is saying instead of letting their mind wander. They then actively retain information and share it with those around them.
Productivity pro-tip: Hold yourself accountable and be an active listener. While having an important conversation with your boss or friend, maintain eye-contact and reflect on the conversation upon completion by asking yourself this important question: What did I learn? Jot notes down if it is helpful. This simple act has seriously helped me become immensely better at my job and it also helped me give my close friends better advice as well.
7. Last but not least, productive people understand that free-time can be productive too.
The productive don’t just work hard, but they play hard as well. Productive people understand the need to have time to get a little crazy so they can keep their optimism even when their planners are nearly full and there are reminders buzzing on their phones every other minute.
Productivity Pro-tip: Give yourself one night “off” each week. This means either you literally turn off your devices for the night and call it in early to get rest, or you go out and allow yourself one night each week to not think about deadlines or stress. I promise you the world will still spin, and you will feel immensely better the next day because of it.