I think it’s safe to say that if you are reading this, you might be feeling the deep need for some help in the productivity department. I get it, I have lots of ideas, but often would lack a clear outlook for how to get them all to play out. We all want to be more productive! So then, as a result, I’d end up frozen in place with tons of great ideas but nothing to show for it.
Here are 6 viable tips to becoming more productive:
1. Get your ideas out.
Be expansive in your thinking. It’s time to make a HUGE LIST! Yes, I said HUGE LIST of everything you are thinking. If you question it, don’t. It gets put on there, too. This is the first step: here, you brainstorm, collaborate, reflect, dream and yes, make a list of it all. You may be surprised at what comes out. This list is unfiltered and not to be put in categories, just free-flow writing.
2. Focus in.
O.K. so now it’s time to be more selective with what you came up with. You go to eat at a buffet and there is a ton of food there, but you are selective about what you put on your plate. Focus in on what will pay off. Know that there will be stuff on your list that doesn’t’ make the cut.
3. Identify your priorities.
When you identify your priorities, it’s helpful to use the 80/20 rule. Give 80% of your efforts to the top 20% (these are the most important) activities. This was a struggle for me for a long time. I wanted to do it all, be it all, and say yes to everyone. Now I see that in many people that are just starting out – I call it the “I’m everything bio.” I will often read a biography and see the long list of “styles” of yoga they teach or all the many modalities they do all listed out in their tagline, or in their short bio. That is the red flag of trying to do it all (I was there for a long time). Give attention to the areas that bear fruit!
4. Set more immediate goals.
Sometimes, don’t think so far ahead – set more immediate goals. When I was early in recovery, thinking weeks or months out gave me major anxiety and that would spin me back into the cycle of my eating disorder. When I started out just focusing on the next ten minutes, the next hour, the next day, and so on, I built up an ability to handle the big picture.
5. Where do you shine?
Ask friends and family where you shine most. Don’t be shy – ask for honesty. You might get answers you didn’t expect or answers that aren’t the direction you are pressing so hard to go in. Don’t be the person who tries so hard to go against their gift. Just because another’s gift looks so great, remember, that is their gift, not yours. This might also be a good place to try taking a personality test (DISC or Myers-Briggs are two options.)
6. Look behind you.
See where your past successes are. You can do that by looking back at what you have accomplished in the past, and by what maybe didn’t work.
As you work to become more productive, consistency is key. If you feel overwhelmed, focus in on one tip at a time and then go from there. Slow and steady, and soon enough you’ll be picking up speed.
You can also check out my tips on How to Stay Focused: Tips for the Unfocused Mind. These ideas are sure to help on your journey toward becoming more productive!
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