Posted on June 14, 2019.
Productivity and success aren’t just the product of a good morning and positive mental space—you have to work throughout your day, using your discipline and motivation to stay on task. Here are 4 steps to conquer productivity, and make it last all whole day through.
#1: Prioritize Your Work
Start with the most important work first when your energy and resolve is strongest. It’s helpful to make a list of tasks and deadlines so you can decide what’s a “need-to-do-now,” a “need-to-do-today,” a “need-to-do-tomorrow,” and a “need-to-do-sometime-in-the-later-future.” When you visualize your to-do list, you can figure out how to most effectively spend your time.
Another approach to prioritization can be to complete a few simple tasks before settling into the heartier projects. The sense of accomplishment you feel from finishing the little things will help you get the bigger things done. There’s no stopping you when you get into that productive groove.
#2: Tackle Your Toughest Job First
Lots of other blog posts about productivity quote Mark Twain. And they’re right. He once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” To translate that into words that actually make practical sense, take on your biggest or hardest project when your mental energy is at its peak. In this post we’re building you up so your mental energy is highest in the morning, but for some it’s not. Know where your energy levels are at their peak so you can jam on whatever needs doing. That way, you’re producing your highest quality work most efficiently.
It’s natural to slow down over the course of the day. Eat a snack, get outside for some fresh air, go for a walk. Take care to refresh your energy when you’re feeling low. Even a 5 minute break for a walk will pay off when you’re able to accomplish a task that would have taken you 30 minutes without a break in 20.
#3: Refuel Your Motivation
Motivation isn’t something to be taken for granted. We all need a boost of inspiration and motivation to keep doing what we do. Have you ever fallen into a slump where you just don’t care as much? It’s because you’ve lost your motivation. Make the time to fill yourself with whatever intellectual fuel you need to keep going—whether it’s reading novels or newsletters, meditating (hint hint), reviewing empowering quotes, writing in a gratitude journal, listening to a podcast, or experiencing art. When you feed your mind and soul, you’ll have the you’ll be invigorated with the confidence to tackle the long-term and short-term goals ahead.
#4: Stay Away from Distractions (Put Your Phone Down)
That little LCD screen is the biggest distraction you have. The constant notifications and pings for attention have whittled away our attention spans as well as our ability to concentrate and maintain self-control. Dedicate certain times for looking at your phone and work to ignore the impulse to check it every time it vibrates. The best way to deal with managing this distraction is to turn it off and put it in a drawer. Only use your phone when you absolutely need it.
The same goes for email. It’s easy to get caught up in everything that floods our inbox, so limit the time you spend in your email. Check it only a few pre-established times a day (maybe when you get settled into work, midday, and just before the end of the day). By creating boundaries, this stops your professional life from bleeding too much into your personal life. And, only address the most important messages in your dedicated “check email” time to stay on track.
Ready to conquer the day? Go forth and be productive, you've got this.