Nowadays, it seems that everyone wants to be more productive and accomplish their goals faster than ever, but at the same time it also seems we are procrastinating at higher levels as well.
We want to be more, do more and achieve more. Does this sound like you? If it does, I have come up with the following seven strategies to help you in your quest of achieving your goals without losing your mind.
Before we begin, I would like to let you know that I have researched and put together a small guide to help you increase your productivity and stop procrastinating. Want to check out what I learned? Download my free PDF guide “How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Stuff Done!” here.
7 Ways To Increase Productivity and Achieve Your Goals
Be willing to do the mundane and tedious.
When I was coaching 8th-grade basketball, the first thing the boys would want to do is shoot long shots from the 3-point line and beyond. The intrigue of making one goal out 20 shots excited them and kept them heaving the ball up towards the basket from ridiculous spaces on the court.
The problem was they hadn’t put enough time in to master the skill of consistently making shots and being productive from five foot in front of the basket. Unsuccessful people often give little attention to the small repetitive tasks required for real success.
Being productive and successful means that you are willing to do the tasks that others are unwilling to do. It requires putting in long hours of practice to master the fundamentals. It also includes fine tuning and revamping what you have already produced.
For example, successful writers know that writing is only 20% of the job. Editing and marketing are the other 80%. Without this willingness to put in the work, even when it isn’t fun, success will always be no more than a glimmer of hope in the dreamer’s eye.
Have a coach or friend who pushes and encourages you.
Even the best of us can get discouraged and want to throw in the towel once and awhile. That is why all of us need someone in our life who will push us to keep going when we are feeling less than motivated to achieve our goals.
Life coaching has become a growing occupation in the last twenty years because of this very fact. While a life coach can help you in various ways, the common denominator of all of them is encouragement. How often you meet with them, once a week or once a month, is determined by you. Just make sure that each time you visit, you are getting a boost of inspiration to keep you moving forward towards your life goals.
If you don’t want a life coach, then a friend will suffice. One study showed that three twenty-minute phone calls over a six-month period doubled the amount of exercise the participants engaged in. Just imagine what the result of six phone calls could have been.
Find a friend who is looking to increase their productivity and mutually agree to call each other once a week just to encourage one another. You’ll both be glad you did.
Reward your effort.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Without rewards, we become bored and tired. On top of that, research shows that reinforcement is the best way to strengthen a behavior.
Notice, I said reward your effort, not the outcome. If you only wait to reward yourself once you have the finished product, you will find yourself constantly struggling with ever completing it. Remember, success takes time and is achieved by taking small consistent steps towards the attainment of your goals. It can become challenging to keep persisting if we never reward our attempts.
A reward can be anything that makes you feel good. It doesn’t have to be monumental like a trip to the Bahama’s. It can be as simple as keeping a calendar and putting a smiley face on each day you worked towards achieving your goal. You can also reward yourself with your favorite beverage or snack. The main thing is that you reinforce your effort, making it possible to achieve your objective eventually.
For more information on the importance of focusing on your effort read “Success Through A Growth Mindset.”
Get up and go to bed on a regular schedule.
Sleep, in my opinion, is one of the top productivity secrets out there. Michael Hyatt even calls it his secret weapon. It’s hard to have the energy needed to persist when you are exhausted.
Sleep is vital to you brain as well as your body. And when your quality of sleep suffers, you simply can’t function at your best. That’s why it is important to make sure you have a consistent sleep pattern that allows you to receive a peaceful night’s rest.
If you don’t have a regular sleep schedule, start one today. I believe it will prove to be one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Decide on a time to go to bed that is early enough to get at seven or eight hours of sleep every night. Then stick with it. Even on weekends and holidays. You’ll be amazed at how easy you begin waking up in the mornings.
If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, read “4 Steps to Getting A Good Night’s Sleep.”
Take a mental break a couple of times a day and disengage.
I know you probably take breaks during your day but are you taking a mental break. A mental break is not going to the water cooler and get caught up in drama. It also isn’t watching your favorite television show. Although watching a show can be relaxing, it doesn’t provide you with the quality of disengagement that allows your brain to recharge.
The most productive mental breaks allow your brain to disengage from all the stresses of reality. They include practicing one of the following for ten to twenty minutes.
- Taking a power nap
- Practicing mindfulness
If you can’t give up ten minutes, then do it for five. The important thing is that you find time to disengage a few times during the day mentally.
It’s hard to increase your productivity and achieve your goals when you’re constantly distracted. Why? Because once we have been pulled away to think about something else our brains need a few minutes to get back on task. That is true, even if the distraction is something as simple as reading a text message.
Is your email or Facebook account constantly blinking or buzzing in the background? If so, turn off the notifications signal. Every time you pull your attention away from what you are working on, you are keeping yourself from being fully present in the current moment. This disruption not only costs you valuable time you could be using to work on your goal, but it is keeping your brain from getting into flow.
Flow is a term positive psychologists use to describe those moments when you are completely immersed in what you are doing. In these moments, you are functioning at your most creative and productive levels. You are firing on all cylinders. You’re getting things done and having a blast doing it.
Distractions will either pull you out of flow, making it hard to get back into it or keep you from ever experiencing it in the first place. So, turn off your notifications, put a note on your door requesting not to be interrupted and free yourself to get lost in your work for a couple of hours. You will be amazed at the results you can produce with this simple suggestion.
We all know about the physical health benefits of exercise. But were you aware of the mental benefits as well?
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and improve overall cognitive functioning. Perhaps the strongest contribution it has is towards developing the character trait of grit, the ability to persevere when things get tough. That is because after exercising for a few weeks, the results you obtain teach you that your actions matter.
Let’s say when you begin your exercise program, you can barely jog a quarter of a mile. After jogging for a week, though, you are now able to jog half a mile. And by the end of the third week, you find yourself easily jogging a mile. This small progression made over just a few weeks reinforces the fact that consistent effort on your part equals big change.
There you have it, 7 Ways To Increase Productivity and Achieve Your Goals. Find a way to begin implementing them into your life and discover how quickly you become a goal achieving machine.
Question: What productivity tip do you have for someone wanting to get more done? You can leave a comment by clicking here.