The need to be productive is often met with mixed feelings. While many feel that unless they are churning out more sheets and crunching more numbers, they are being unproductive. Others find excessive workloads hamper their productivity. Being productive is not about completing more tasks (though a productive person often seems like a well-oiled machine to an average person), but being able to complete the tasks at hand with proper care.
Factors leading to unproductivity
The pandemic has opened the door for many remote working teams. Companies are also considering keeping the work from home culture even after the pandemic is long gone. While this had been initially a blessing, in the long run, this arrangement has led to many people going off their routines and becoming less productive.
Leading a nomadic life is becoming the trend. The term “digital nomad” has gained momentum and many people are opting for self-employment or becoming a freelancer and working remotely. But choosing a life working on your own terms often has the disadvantage of not having a routine, while being your own boss often puts added responsibilities on your shoulders. This can result in you becoming unproductive or creating lackluster content.
Habits to help you stay productive
Getting back onboard the productive train is not a difficult feat. What is challenging is staying on board. While occasional lapses of unproductivity and lethargy are normal, staying in that zone is not normal. Here are 18 suggestions to help you stay productive so that you can attain new heights in your career.
- Get the crucial tasks done first.
- Avoid multitasking.
- Keep the boring jobs either for last or get them done first.
- Create a list of shortcuts that you can repeat without issues.
- Never despair when you fail; rather, learn from them and avoid them in the future.
- Keep taking small breaks between ongoing projects.
- Recharge by cutting off from the internet and focus on yourself. After spending hours staring at the screen, you will soon become drained and the best cure is to disconnect from the digital world for a few hours.
- Say no when you know a certain assignment is not your forte or you are already working on a number of tasks. Taking extra work with deadlines will cause you more distractions.
- Each time before starting your work, create a list of possible errors. These can include work errors. Once you know the preventive workarounds, overcoming difficulties will not be too hard.
- While working, stay away from your phones or personal social media accounts. These are distractions that will lessen your focus and productivity.
- Have a fixed timeline for each work. Freelancers often take up multiple projects from different clients. This can lead to a clash unless a routine is set up. Working with a “first come, first serve” mentality often helps. This will also help set up personal deadlines.
- Setting up personal breaks. Keep all your coffee/tea needs handy so you need not get up frequently. This will help you stay focused.
- Starting early will help get more work done. Many successful and highly productive people have a routine where they wake up early, work out, dedicate time to personal needs, and then start work. This further increases their productivity.
- Add exercises to your daily routine. Having a lifestyle switch often works wonders to boost productivity. Meditation, walking, or jogging can help boost your concentration and mood.
- Do not focus on issues that are emotionally draining and have no immediate solution.
- Productivity apps will help you keep track of your work and also help you be free from distractions. Apps like Forest also plant trees for every successful work session completed by you.
- The use of automation or routines when approaching repetitive tasks will help save time.
- Set up a designated workspace. This will help you focus better.
Being productive is a lifestyle. Fighting bouts of creative blocks or mood swings is normal and addressing these issues should be a priority. But never let the need to be productive become a task.