When it comes to productivity, there’s a lot of misinformation available (both online and offline). You can hear different people saying different things, and they all claim to have discovered the definitive way to be productive. Unfortunately, they all seem to focus on doing more, and if you follow their methods, you may end up working more and enjoying your life less.
I think another reason this misinformation exists is that there’s a huge market around productivity. Everyone wants to make money with it and it’s hard to do it without following some expectations.
The following is a list of ten things they usually don’t teach you about productivity. It is based on my experience, but it should apply easily to everyone.
Top 10 Productivity Tips
Do less. The first productivity tip is to remember that you should eventually do less. It doesn’t make sense to adopt a system if that doesn’t save you time.
Use a productivity system. Previously, I told you that most productivity systems are bad, but that shouldn’t stop you from building your own. For example, I have a software where I keep track of all my projects and tasks. I also use a separate daily to-do list where I write three or more high-value activities I want to accomplish during the day. This works for me because I don’t want to see all my projects and tasks throughout the day, but instead, I want to focus on the important things.
Focus on important things. Do you remember the Pareto rule? If not, it basically states that 80% of results come from 20% of your actions. That means you should focus on doing the important things and procrastinate on low-value activities, like checking emails, watching videos on YouTube, etc.
Have a plan. It doesn’t make much sense for you to do anything if you don’t have a roadmap. Before doing anything, you should ask yourself if what you are going to do will move forward on your goals or not. Remember that if you do something every day to achieve something big, you’ll eventually get there. Persistence and patience are your friends.
Avoid starting new things. I usually have 2 or 3 new ideas I would like to implement every day, but I can’t do them all. If I did, I wouldn’t have the time to finish anything and my life would look like a big mess. As a general rule, when you have a great idea you would like to implement, write it down and return back to it after two days to see if it’s still valid.
Use time box. When you have something to do, allow yourself to work on it for a specific amount of time, for example, one hour. After that time is finished, you stop and move to something else. This is a tremendous productivity tip because when you work this way, your brain will do its best to finish the task before the time runs out. Try it.
Don’t wait for motivation to come. Motivation is the reason why you do something, but it’s also the reason why you often procrastinate. When you would like to do something but you lack the motivation to do it, what you should do is just get started. It’s easy to start doing something without focusing on the big task. As soon as you do it, motivation will come to complete the whole task.
Do other activities. When you are stuck with a problem and you are going nowhere, consider taking a break, and walk outside to clear your mind. You’ll be amazed at how much faster you can solve your problems this way.
Learn to relax. If your body is tense, it’s hard for it to function well. There are many relaxation techniques you can use, but the most common are probably to just lie down and enjoy a few minutes of silence without doing anything.
Stop worrying about productivity and start doing it. This is probably the most important tip. If you want to do something, just go and do it; don’t worry about productivity.
I hope these tips will help you achieve some of your goals. Remember to keep experimenting to find what works for you. That’s the only way to figure out what’s best for you and not for everyone else.