Being productive is not something I excel in. I always try to put as little effort into something as I can. I’m basically a lazy sloth. You know those times when you have an assessment due but instead you decide to binge watch House Of Cards, that happens to me far too often. Hello, I’m Whitney and I’m unproductive. Trying to get out of this rut, I’ve got some handy tips on how to be productive and work better and make the most of your time. The key to productivity is focus. You can do it fellow sloth. We can all do it.
Become a list fiend
Write lists for everything, even if they are only one-worded lists. Make a note of all tasks you need to do and tick or cross them off when you have finished. Make the list manageable and realistic but not overwhelming. Doing this on a daily basis or a weekly basis will give you goals to complete and you will have less chance of forgetting important things that need doing. Plus, the sense of achievement of crossing off everything on a list is great. It’s like getting to the final boss stage on Crash Bandicoot. Who doesn’t want to do that?
Fill the silence, listen to something
Often when you have things to do and you’re just sitting in silence, your mind tends to wander and your fingers take reign on your iPhone. I’ve found having background noise of some kind helps to distract me from my running mind and helps to keep me focused on what I need to do. It fills the silence without taking away my attention. The radio is great for this as you don’t end up dancing to that party Spotify playlist you created the other day and the casual mumbling of the presenters is a nice distant humming. I should probably get a mini radio because an iPhone app can easily lead to a perusal of my Instagram feed.
Don’t procrastinate, you silly time-waster
What’s that quote, “The devil makes work for idle hands”. In my case my hands are idle and the devil is making no work for me. I’m too much of a procrastinator. I’m far too content with doing nothing. Life is for living and I should try a little to do some of that living. A lot of my stress comes from the sudden realisation that I have to do something that I’ve either put off or forgotten to do. If you start something, see it through to the end. Don’t stop and start and take unnecessary breaks. Once you’ve finished something in full, you can take a well-deserved break. Realising and becoming aware that you’re being unproductive is the first step in working better.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
When you plan things, executing them becomes so much easier. Whether it is a blog post which you schedule or an essay plan. Without one it is definitely harder and much more frustrating to complete. When preparing, plan to include breaks. This will help if you have a short attention span or get bored easily. Even if you are not in the mood to be productive, you can plan what you are going to do when you do finally feel productive. For some of us I understand this may be never, I understand you, I got you 😉 That saying, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” has some truth to it. Planning even if only in the mind is a step in the right directive and thinking productively will lead to you acting productively. This is my favorite way of how to be productive.
Have faith my fellow lazy people, we can become more productive. Preparation, planning and breaks are the key to success. Any way to improve the self is one step closer to living your best life.
Do you have any tips on how to be productive, let me know in the comments section or let me know on Twitter @whitneyxabigail
Photos by Kamo K