Recently a social media post hit home with a lot of people. The idea was simple; Don’t focus on being busy, but rather focus on being productive. The fact that this simple statement resonated with so many prompted this post. You don’t need a “system” or a specific planner (although if either help you, please do it!). All you need are simple ideas that help you stay on task and get things done.
Have a clear goal Having a simple and clearly defined goal helps you structure your days. Your goals can be separated into the compartments that are your life (work, family, etc) or it can be all around one big goal. Once you have that goal in mind, defining how to get there becomes easier.
Dedicate time to each part of your life Make time for work, for your family and for yourself. Trying to focus too much time and energy on one part of your life for too long causes burn out, something that will ultimately hurt your productivity.
Don’t multi-task: Just don’t. When you multi-task, your brain isn’t giving its full attention and energy to any of the tasks you are working on, which means details will get missed. Those around you can always tell they aren’t getting your full attention (just talk to someone on the phone who is watching TV to understand this) and this will affect your relationships in the short and long term.
Take breaks: Breaks are like time out for your brain. Much like you looked forward to recess and lunch in school, the same is true for adult life. Your brain needs a little downtime, in which it processes the information it was just working on. Breaks don’t have to be long, 5-15 minutes, but should be taken regularly throughout the day. Apps like Pomodoro can help.
Take time to do something just for you: Whether it is going for that morning run or sitting down to watch your favorite show at the end of the day, take time to do something that is solely for you. Something that replenishes your soul and makes you feel whole.