Life is busy, so this is easier said than done. I, personally, have a long goal list that requires massive action to accomplish. I’ve had moments when I’ve stood before my whiteboard and wanted to cry from the overwhelming reality that I only have so many hours in a day to make these happen.
I don’t give up. No. I keep pushing because, and only because, I am focused on the joy I get from pursuing them.
This is key.
A person can’t be as productive if she isn’t happy. The reason why is because the opposite of happy is miserable, and misery doesn’t create the energetic vibe needed to spark movement.
To be productive, you must enjoy the process of taking action on your goals. If you’re not enjoying it, you may need to re-evaluate your goals and make sure they are truly what you want to achieve. If not, erase those goals and make new ones.
Where most people fail to accomplish goals is in the execution of them. Why? Many reasons stand as obstacles, but perhaps one of the biggest is time.
Most people I talk with say the same thing, “There aren’t enough hours in a day to do the things I need to do. Where am I going to fit in the time to pursue these goals?”
It’s true. We’ve got limited time between sleep, cooking, household chores, caring for children and pets, relaxing with a loved one, and work. It’s not easy to find extra time to get ahead.
But it is possible.
If we analyze our time, we will probably conclude that we waste a lot of it. How many hours of television do you watch? How many times a day do you scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feeds? These activities are beneficial when done in moderation because they can help us wind down and connect with others. But, too much can steal valuable productive time. There’s a delicate balance. Here’s how to be more productive:
Schedule television and internet time.
By scheduling, you’ll be less apt to mindlessly scroll through the channels or social media newsfeeds and more apt to making strategic decisions. Think of your time as a valuable asset. How do you want to tap into it? How can you best preserve it for effective use?
Write down your top goals.
Write them down and commit at the very least to 15 minutes a day to taking action on one or more of them. By taking action daily, you are chunking these massive goals down into digestible steps. Those steps add up over time. Before long, you’ll look back on them and realize you’ve come far. Action steps also create momentum, which will fuel your desire to continue taking more steps.
When you are feeling unfocused, stop what you are doing, go someplace quiet, close your eyes, and breathe. As simplistic as this sounds, it is the best way to reenergize when in a pinch. Breathe deeply for three minutes, and you’ll feel your energy and focus return.
Write a to-do list.
At the start of each day, write out your to-do list. By writing things down, they get out of your mental way and free you up to focus. You can also easily lump things together by how much time they will take to accomplish and by task. (Prepare breakfast for the week ahead once instead of five times a week, which cuts down on cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Bang out similar tasks that require a particular focus so you remain on a roll.) Also, you might find it helpful to create a schedule out of your list, setting this hour aside for this project and this hour aside for another one.
Rewarding yourself for accomplishing a milestone can help build and sustain motivation over the long haul. Create milestones for your goals, and when reached, gift yourself with something affirming that will perk you up and keep you going until you reach the next one.