Increase Your Productivity to Increase Your Motivation
Nothing keeps your motivation up better than achievement. Making progress toward your goal is powerful inspiration to continue to work at it. For that reason, working on being productive is beneficial for two reasons. It both takes you closer to your goal and gives you the stamina to keep going towards it.
A lack of motivation is sometimes the result of some sort of delay or interruption in work. In other words, if you aren’t making progress fast enough, you may lose motivation. On other occasions, a lack of motivation can occur because you want to avoid an unpleasant task or because you have encountered a problem that you don’t immediately know how to solve.
Productive people don’t often run into delays or interruptions. They work through those problems or move around them. Productive people find a way to manage unpleasant tasks. If a problem arises they learn how to deal with it or they enlist the assistance of an expert.
Some people seem to be naturally productive. They are organized, efficient, and get a lot done. But being productive is a set of learned skills. If you are not naturally productive, you can learn skills and develop habits that will make you so.
What follows are some tips for increasing your productivity. In the following installments of this e-course, we will discuss each of them in more detail.
- Respect your working rhythm and your physical needs.
Researchers have done studies on individual working rhythms. Some people work best in a 90-minute burst followed by a 20-minute break. Others work better in a 25-minute burst followed by a 5-minute break. Find your sweet spot.
- Have a powerful start to your day.
Get up early and spend some time investing in yourself. Whether you exercise, engage in a spiritual practice, read a motivational book, or simply sit and enjoy a sunrise, make sure the start to your day nourishes your soul.
- Tame your distractions.
Both the phone and e-mail are great tools that can become burdens if you are chained to them. Find ways to use them to your benefit, not your detriment. Other people, whether they are your co-workers if you work in an office or your family if you work from home, can be big distractions. Find kind but firm ways to keep them out of your hair. And your most annoying distractions may be personal to you. Do you have a busy brain? A little OCD or ADHD? Find ways to keep on track.
- Plan each day the night before.
Start each day ready to go by planning it the night before. Identify three important tasks to take care of and put them at the top of the list. Some days you may have a task that will be unpleasant, that you would rather avoid, or that you will worry over or be distracted by until you get it done. If so, do it first, and get on with the day.
- Conquer the time suck that is e-mail.
E-mail is a wonderful thing. It is also a pain in the rear end. If you have the type of work that allows you to set aside a few specific times throughout the day to read and respond to incoming messages, take advantage of it. Turn off your email client except for the two or three regular times that you devote to reading and responding to your e-mails. During each of these periods, clear out your inbox completely.
Using each of the tips described above will help you improve your productivity. Increased productivity has two benefits. It helps you get work done faster to get you toward your goal sooner. It also keeps your motivation up, as you observe that your hard work is getting you places that you want to go.