This is a guest post by Daniel Offer. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guest post guidelines here.
Is there a way for you to gain better focus and feel a sense of accomplishment in your daily routine? Are there things you feel you should be doing but can’t quite push yourself to do? Do you become paralyzed by too many tasks on your plate all at once?
Sometimes, a lack of progress is blamed on having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Sometimes the weather is blamed—it’s too hot, it’s too cold; it’s too cloudy or rainy, and so on. Other times inefficiency is blamed on a lack of physical energy or illness. The truth is, often at the core of what holds a person back is personal mismanagement. The key to finishing a day well may be less about time management, feeling good or having good weather, but more about how well a person is organized.
While the organization of physical surroundings is important too, it is the mental clutter that can hold a person back. Becoming alert to productivity-robbing activity or thought processes can help a person to become more productive.
Here are five important life management tips that can be considered in order to become more productive:
1. Be Convinced
Happiness experts have discovered that one obstacle to happiness is mind wandering. Staying focused, on the other hand, brings greater joy. Focus comes with being convinced of the value of your role(s). Focus means living in the moment—feeling, breathing, and enjoying life for all it’s worth. Wandering, on the other hand, includes such things as dreaming of being somewhere else. It might be looking back or into the future.
Mind wandering often focuses on what isn’t working. Trying to figure out a better life uses significant energy and is distracting. Sure you may want a job change or to improve other areas of your life. Schedule a time to work on these issues rather allowing them to roam freely across your thoughts.
Be convinced that at this time in your life you are where you need to be. Be convinced that there are reasons for you being there and that you have a purpose to fulfill in the “now”.
2. Be Confident
When you lack confidence, much time and energy is taken up in self-questioning. Projects are halted when time is spent wondering what others will think. Trying to please everyone becomes an obstacle.
Trust that you are as qualified as you need to be to do your job. Remind yourself that others need you. Someone is counting on you. Don’t take your talent for granted. Take confidence in your own unique abilities.
Act confident. Confidence is an attractive quality. It can make even the most lackluster individual shine. People are attracted to confident people. They want to believe you know what you’re talking about. When you are confident about what it is you are to do, you will get it done.
Ask for help where needed. Hire assistance or delegate areas out of your comfort zone or that are too time consuming. Focus your time on confidently carrying out what it is you’re assigned to do.
3. Break Tasks Down
Each day, consider what needs to be done, what you’d like to do, and what can be put on the bottom of the list. Plan a time to focus on the things at the bottom of the list.
Work on the most important task, or the one that is causing an undercurrent of annoyance. Accomplishing important or annoying tasks clears the way to being more productive on the rest.
Stay focused on each chosen task keeping an eye on the clock so that you can move on to the next one as planned.
4. Filter Interruptions
Other people, telephone calls, emails and text messages will distract you and gobble up time. You will be tempted to answer each of them. Mind power is wasted as your in-depth thoughts fall between the cracks with interruptions.
Some interruptions are part of daily life. There are some that you just have to plan for. Look for a break in your schedule and tend to the interruptions in a way that works for you.
Learn to say “no”. Well-meaning people may be the interrupters. Say “no” to things that will take your focus away. Gracefully postpone invitations to impromptu luncheons and cut lengthy telephone calls short. If you keep your flow, you will be much more available to others later.
5. Make the Clock Your Friend
When first planning your day’s assignments, estimate how much time each will need, and plan for interruptions that may spring up. Either set a mental timer or set an alarm to remind you to change tasks.
Keep an eye on the clock to encourage yourself to speed things up and to stay focused. Challenge yourself to get things done in a certain number of minutes.
The reasons a person wants to stay productive are many. Feeling a sense of accomplishment at day’s end brings fulfillment and purpose. Knowing you’ve done a good job reinforces your commitment. Beyond resulting in good feelings, good life management helps you get things done.
When your mind is convinced that the tasks at hand are worthwhile, when you are confident to accomplish them, when you’ve trained yourself to focus and managed interruptions, you will have the keys to staying productive.
Daniel Offer manages his time as best he can whilst running Emoinstaller, a Facebook Emoticons project. Emoinstaller allows you to use extra Facebook chat emoticons in your instant messages. Emoinstaller provides over 900 high quality Facebook emoticons.
Photo by william.neuheisel