Hey there! I’ve felt compelled to write on this topic for a long time now simply because I’ve always been bad at being productive. And the ways I’ve written down to maximise productivity have all worked for me in general.
Procrastination – The Real OG
They say Leonardo Da Vinci was a lot of things- a painter, a sculptor, a writer, a mathematician, inventor and writer, to name a few. Without a doubt, he was a great man. But I’m certain even he had his share of unproductive days.
Most people are bad at being productive; especially when they’ve got the freedom to work how they want to or if there are no deadlines pushing them. If this wasn’t the case, there wouldn’t be thousands of books, articles and videos on ‘how to be more productive’. These productivity-killing demons constantly lurk on our shoulders tempting us to opt for the easier of the given options. Luckily, there are ways for us to maximise our productivity.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Procrastinators love planning, simply because planning does not involving “doing”. It is simply listing out a large set of daunting accomplishments that, although our subconscious gullible mind may believe we will accomplish, we never do.
I mean, how well does this represent you?
Instead of writing down big major accomplishments, break them down into smaller, more doable chunks. Nobody “just builds a house”. They start by taking one brick at a time and laying it again and again till they finally reach the end product – a house. Nearly every big, daunting task can be boiled down to a smaller, doable task- the brick.
A 40 minute run everyday is the brick to competing in a marathon. A 30 minute practise session is the brick to becoming a great singer. Take time to absorb this fact
A remarkable, glorious achievement is just what a long series of unremarkable, unglorious tasks looks like from far away.
The good thing is laying a brick is that it isn’t all that difficult. Planning your task and setting deadlines is all it takes. Create methods to help to stay on track once you’ve laid out your first brick.
- Create a todo lis t and take up three to four sub tasks per day.
- The TimeTune app lets you plan out your entire day. It’s been helpful for me on days I’ve got a strict time schedule to follow.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique if you’re stuck in the “I don’t feel like doing it” attitude. Set your timer to 25 minutes and give all your focus to a single task. Most likely you’ll trick yourself into continuing.
- Make time for breaks. Take two types of breaks as and when needed. Longer and shorter breaks. Longer breaks would last for around an hour and should be taken only when a major task has been completed. Shorter breaks should last for 5 to 10 minutes and most and should be taken in between completion of sub tasks.
- Avoid multitasking at all costs!
- Minimize distractions by all means if necessary. If your phone is a distraction , switch it into airplane mode. If the internet is a distraction, disable the wifi so long as you work or install plugins to block sites for a timed duration.
Aim for smaller, steady progress- Poems are written one line at a time
Don’t think about going from A to Z—just start with A to B. Change the storyline from “I procrastinate on every hard task I do” to “Once a week, I do a hard task without procrastinating.”