Sorry for disappearing for a couple of weeks there. I hadn’t planned to take a break from blogging, but sometimes your schedule gets busy, and two weeks suddenly go by without you even realizing it.
Anyway, my couple of weeks away from blogging got me thinking it might be a good time to write about productivity. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to stay productive and organized.
(I probably wouldn’t have missed my last two posts if I had done a better job of adhering to these tips, lol.)
Though it can be difficult at times, having a positive attitude seriously makes a difference in your ability to be productive. I can say from experience that thinking good thoughts enables me to overcome a lot of the stresses and worries that hinder my ability to get work done in the first place.
In truth, the thing that often makes it challenging to be productive is fear. Doubts cloud your judgement, and you’re overwhelmed by a barrage of questions. Can I really do this? Will anybody care? What’s the point if I’m going to fail anyway? Instead of taking a risk and doing something, you find yourself sitting in a limbo sort of state. Not failing. Not succeeding.
Finding a positive outlook allows you to push those negative thoughts to the back of your mind and give something your best effort. Maybe it won’t turn out the way you hoped, but you can take comfort in the fact that you’re doing something you wanted and/or needed to do and you’re not allowing your fears to stop you from doing it.
The pomodoro technique
If you’re struggling to get things done, one of the easiest solutions is to try using a time management technique. A popular technique that happens to be one of my favorites is the pomodoro technique. The idea is pretty simple. Before you start working on something, start a timer for 25 minutes. Keep working until the timer goes off. Then, give yourself a five-minute break and get back to your work.
This strategy has been really effective for me at times when I’ve had a hard time focusing. The timer doesn’t have any real meaning, but there’s something about it that fills me with the sense of urgency I need to stay on track.
Work and school wire our brains to respond to deadlines, so it makes sense why a method like the pomodoro technique would be helpful. It provides a healthy amount of pressure to a task that makes you want to complete as much work as you can before the dreaded timer goes off. Plus, the five-minute breaks give you the chance to relax after a period of intense focus.
Something that never ceases to irritate me about the internet is the notion that you need to be productive 100% of the time or you’ll never achieve success. News flash: Expecting a person to be on top of things at every minute of every day isn’t realistic, and it can have a damaging effect on their self image.
One way I help myself be productive is by allowing myself time to not be productive, especially when it comes to creative endeavors. If I’m having a bad day or really struggling to create anything that I’m excited about, I see it as my brain’s way of telling me it’s time for a break. Why would I make myself miserable over something that’s supposed to bring me happiness?
Striking a balance is extremely important to productivity. Don’t set unreasonable expectations for yourself because they only lead to your disappointment. Set limits for yourself and give yourself the opportunity to unwind.
I LOVE lists. Honestly, I don’t know how I would manage to stay organized if it weren’t for them. When life feels chaotic or busy or overwhelming, having a list that breaks down my priorities keeps grounded and makes things seem exponentially more reasonable.
Personally, I like to keep my lists short and manageable. I usually start each day with four or five tasks that I plan to prioritize. Then, if I get through those items, then I’ll add a few extra ones. It helps me focus on one goal at a time and gives me a tangible item I can look back on at the end of the day to see how productive I was.
Plus, there’s no greater relief than when you finally put a checkmark next to an item on your to-do list.
I hope you’re doing well and that spring is treating you nicely! 🙂
What’s your favorite productivity tip?