Set Yourself Up for Success: How to Be More Productive:
Honesty About How You Spend Your Time
Do you often find yourself reaching for your phone even though you need to focus on a big project?
Do you find yourself procrastinating and doing tons of things at the last minute?
Or maybe you sometimes wonder, “How can I become a more productive person?” or “How can I make myself more productive?”
Productivity is important both at work and at home considering how busy our lives are in this modern age. It’s all go, go, go.
But in order to “go” effectively, we need to figure out how to better manage our priorities and time so that we produce quality outcomes in our professional and personal lives.
Productivity is especially key when we have some major goals and exciting dreams in our back pockets, such as wanting to start a business, write a book, or grow a campaign or initiative we’ve already been working on.
Now this whole productivity thing isn’t about perfection.
You can’t be perfect. Sorry, but it’s true.
I can’t be perfect either, so we’re in the same imperfect boat together.
It’s nothing to mourn or moan about. Don’t beat yourself up because it’s pretty much impossible to be totally productive 100% of the time.
Distractions come up frequently and it is rare to have a completely distraction-free period in our lives.
Instead, being productive means becoming more self-aware, developing healthy boundaries, and choosing to say “yes” to distractions at appropriate times.
For example, you need to train yourself to turn off your phone when you have an impending deadline so that you can (1) get the work done, and (2) get the work done faster.
It is 100% in your power to make progress on your goals and dreams, and you can do so by taking little productive steps that will add up to a BIG impact.
Now, there isn’t a one-stop shop to make you more productive. Instead, it’s about figuring out what works for you and implementing that.
So let’s get to work!
Set yourself up for success both at work and at home by following the three simple, yet highly impactful tips below on how to be more productive so that you can achieve your goals and your dreams.
Let’s Just Be Honest about How You Spend Your Time
First things first: in order to be more productive, you need to understand how you spend your time.
Self-reflection is critical in all aspects of leadership development, yet it is often neglected in favor of the go, go, go mentality that modern society has trained into us.
While it can feel like you have no time to stop and self-reflect, you need to make that time so that you can take better care of yourself and figure out how you’re truly organizing your waking hours.
Self-reflection doesn’t have to be tedious though. You can set aside just 2 to 5 minutes after a set work period to do a little self-check.
For example, work for an hour and then ask yourself the following questions:
- How many times did I look at my phone?
- How many times did I open a new tab to check email or social media?
- How much of the hour did I actually commit to doing the work, rather than thinking about doing the work?
Along with an informal self-reflection, you can conduct a more formal time tracking analysis to learn more about yourself and your time tendencies.
- Pick a set timeframe that you think you can commit to for tracking, like 5 days, 7 days, 15 days, 20 days, etc.
- Create a spreadsheet with categories you’d like to track or download an app like Hours, as suggested by Alexis Croswell, a senior content manager at Culture Amp.
- Log your start and end times for different tasks during your set time period. For instance: how long you take for meals, how long you take for getting ready, how long you spend on your phone, how long your commute is, how long you spend working, how long you spend on your passion project, etc.
- Once you have all the data logged for your set time period, figure out what it means by creating a graphic or another type of visualize.
- Based on the data, determine if you feel good about where you’re spending your time or not.
Both self-reflection check-ins and formal time tracking can help you see how you’re spending both working and non-working hours.
According to Inc.com, the people we think of as successful tend to spend their free time exercising, reading, doing personal or professional development, volunteering, networking, and spending time with family and friends.
So ask yourself:
- What does your free time look like?
- What does your work time look like?
- Do you like what you see?
- If so, how can you do more of what you want?
- If not, how can you change your time tendencies?
Engage in simple self-reflection or a full-on time audit to figure out what you’re actually up to and where you can better align yourself with your goals and dreams so that you can be productive everyday.
See you next week, where we’ll talk about Setting Boundaries At Work and Home!
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