3 simple, yet solid tips to make yourself more productive
Ever had some of those days when doing anything at all feels like trying to move Mount Kilimanjaro? When every time you press a button on your keyboard, it’s like your fingers are made of iron and all you want to do is just bang your head against the wall in denial? I know how you feel.
The exhaustion kicks in so deep, you can hardly get any work done. But sadly, we never have the luxury of lying around doing nothing, with the deadlines ticking away slowly, but steadily. Time doesn’t stop moving, and each time you check the clock on your phone, the feeling of responsibility and guilt starts getting bigger and bigger and eventually, you get to work.
Now here is the important part: You have already lost a pretty big chunk of time and need to work faster to be able to recover. So essentially, you need to become a hyper productive person pretty fast (more like RIGHT NOW), probably regretting all the time spent in vain procrastinating and get all the work planned for the day done in a shorter amount of time.
Fear not friends! I have been in this kind of situation many times, and want to share with you three very simple, yet solid ways to boost your productivity for those days, when you just don’t feel like working. Keep in mind that those three methods are connected and highly depend on each other, so you can consider them as one single strategy.
Bring the positivity in!
The first thing you want to start with, is getting your head filled with as much positive emotions as you can. This can be anything that makes you smile and feel happy. I for one find YouTube and humor the best source of positive energy. Videos like this are able to make me super positive in a heartbeat. Think of what makes you happy and JUST DO IT. Don’t panic, don’t think about the amount of work waiting to be done, you don’t have time for that anymore (you spent all that time on procrastination remember?). Just get all the good stuff (whatever weird thing it might be for you) going inside your head, heart and soul.
Keep the negativity at bay. Thoughts like “I am not going to make it”,” there is too little time” and so on, are only going to get the matters worse. Remember, think of the solution, not the problem. Yes, you probably could prevent yourself from getting into the position you are in now, but that realization doesn’t help much at the moment. You need to get back on track.
Don’t think, just start working
After you get the positivity rolling through your body, jump to work immediately. Don’t think too much, just grab your list of to-do’s and start working on the first task. You will be amazed just how much time you can save by jumping straight into working. Make sure to complete each task, before moving to the next one since multitasking is not a very good idea either (you waste time between switching from task to task and coming back to something isn’t always very smooth. Every minute counts here).
This is where the productivity really starts to kick in. Being on the positive allows you to block panic and negative thoughts, and the feeling of responsibility along with time ticking out, keeps you going faster and faster. It feel like liquid productivity being injected straight into your veins (I would definitely take some of that!).
Don’t get distracted
The third and most important thing to do, is keep going. Do not stop until you know you have caught up with your schedule enough, that you can allow yourself a five minute break. Distractions are the worst thing that can happen to you now that you are back on track. You can’t afford to lose the progress you have made so far. Keep on doing task after task, progressing bit by bit and don’t stop.
There might be times that you will feel the urge to get on Facebook or Twitter just for a second, or maybe check your email real fast, or go make yourself a cup of coffee. Don’t give in to these thoughts! First, both you and I know that it’s not going to be “just a second”. It’s going to take a lot of valuable time (which is, by the way, already pretty scarce) and second, getting back to the work after a distraction, even if you do manage to make it last a second or two, is going to be very hard.
Consider the last part the core of this strategy. If you can’t make the last part happen, the first and second aren’t going to make much of a difference. Take your time with getting enough positivity if you have to, but make sure you are committed when you start working.
Those three simple tricks have helped me out countless times, when deadlines were pressing hard and there just seemed to be no way out. But there is always a way out. It may be well hidden, but once you find it, there will be no stopping you -)
Do you have any of your own methods of fighting procrastination and boosting your productivity? Share them with us in the comments!
Pavel is a doctor who happens to have an MBA degree and a strong passion for writing. "I am a do-it-all kind of person: When I am not writing, I am busy curing people, when I am not curing people, I tend to kill WCG competitions. Life is fun, and full of wonders: Do what you enjoy most, even if it’s everything at once."