Three Simple Steps to Maximum Productivity
Lately, I've reached a bit of a rut at work. Don't worry. Everything is going fine. This rut is more of a mental one. Being that it is September, it is the last quarter of the year. For law firms and most other companies, this means pushing through and doing as much work as possible to ensure increased profit margins. For the employees, this means we have to "be more productive." There are jobs, mine included, that are nice enough to reward the employees with different prizes, bonuses, and things! The incentive is all there! So the race is now on.
Here's where my issue kicks in, one that I believe is universal to all of us. To most of us, if not all of us, to be more productive means doing more work. So that's exactly what I've been doing recently - more work. You know how it is, pounding at the keyboard, staring at the computer all day, reading documents, phone calls, etc. But the more I do, the less accomplished I feel. I mean, I'm doing the work, but I'm tired! The more tired I am, the more the quality of my work decreases. Hence, the rut I am in.
This post is for all those busy bees out there. I'm talking about everyone that has to deal with mountains of tasks that need to be completed or goals that need to be achieved. This post is for you! We all have those days when we need to do more. It's part of life. But that doesn't mean we have to tire ourselves out in the process. I've implemented three simple ways to be more productive in my life while actually doing less!
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1. Take a breath and declutter
The first issue with increased productivity that most people face is multi-tasking. For some of us, multi-tasking is actually not a problem at all. But did you realize that you could be good at multi-tasking but not multi-thinking. I don't even know if multi-thinking is a thing, but that actually proves my point! When we multi-task, we inherently cloud our minds with hundreds of thoughts. They're racing through like scenes from a movie, and a terrible one at that!!
You can't truly be productive if you're doing too much. Stop for a second to declutter your mind and organize your thoughts. Once you focus on one thing, you can take it on with extreme clarity.
2. Slow down!
Sometimes, in our attempts to be more productive, we assume that we need to do more all at once and fast! We think we're being productive by meeting our goals early, but sometimes we're not. You're putting in all of this hard work, but it won't mean anything if the end result is crappy.
Slow it down! It's okay. In fact, it will improve the quality of your work, which is key! This applies to anything. Whether you work for a company, you're self-employed, you're a stay at home parent, or something else. If the task you've just completed is poor and needs to be re-done, you've just wasted your time. Slow down and think everything through. Make sure all of your i's are dotted, your t's are crossed, your ducks are all in a row...you get the picture.
Related Post: My Super Effective Methods for Beating the Monday Blues
3. Take a break!
I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to fill up my day with work. The more work I do, the better I look, right? Wrong!
Imagine the last time you did cardio. For some of us, it may be further in the past than others. Ahem! But try to remember that time anyway. You told yourself you were going to run on the treadmill or do some other form of cardio for a certain amount of time without stopping. With all the different exercise challenges on Pinterest, who hasn't done this!!!
So you started your exercise. You're feeling good. Heart beating fast, blood pumping through your veins. Your adrenaline is through the roof!! But then you start feeling it. That lurking sense of fatigue. That undeniable burn in your lungs. You look at your watch and you're only 30 seconds into your exercise!!! This is when you reach the crossroad: do I give up or do I keep going? In this case, you decide to keep going. But you're losing momentum and proper form in your exercise now. It's not as effective as it should be anymore. Time is up! You've completed your exercise, but you're not feeling the burn that you should be feeling. This is what it's like when you power through an assignment on low fumes without allowing yourself time to think.
Now, imagine that you're doing your cardio exercise again. But instead, it's interval training (high intensity or low intensity, take your pick!) This time, you're able to get through your exercise with form intact because you know that you have a break coming up soon. Even better, after you take that much needed break, you start your exercise again and you're feeling great. Your lungs aren't burning as much and you can keep going! This is what it's like when you allow yourself to take a break from your task.
Give yourself that chance to breathe. I guarantee you'll be more productive and will notice a difference in your work product.
Final Thought: Be More Productive!
In the end, we all want to be at the top and show the world what we can do! But just remember that if you want to actually be more productive and achieve your goals, you sometimes need to do less to do more!
Now go out there and get it done!