Productivity remains one of the biggest topics that people regardless of the industry or culture they belong to, enjoy talking about. Just a quick stroll along the self-help section of your library (or nearest bookstore) will tell you how much people are obsessed with it.
A lot of sources say that the main factor that determines one’s productivity is motivation. This could then be divided into two smaller factors: level of energy and strength of will. What they don’t realize, though, is how detrimental that can be to someone who wants to learn how to increase productivity since this would mean that one is simply a procrastinator, and thus, unproductive.
The Real Secret Behind Productivity: Time Management
This is the reason why we stand by another factor instead, and that would be time management. Allow us to paint you an example. Let’s say that you’re in need of researching about payday loans. You take note of it. You promise to do it. Then, after a while, you slowly realize that you have missed the opportunity entirely.
While yes, it can be because you are simply feeling lazy about something that you can always do tomorrow. But we also want you to remember that this feeling of lethargy can be brought about by a lack of energy because you didn’t manage your time wisely in the first place. If you have accounted for your energy levels and rest times, you wouldn’t be feeling this lazy.
Time Management Tips
The challenge now is how to manage your time to account for all these things, add motivation, and even prevent procrastination. Hence, here are some tips to help you out:
- Record how you spend your usual day. Are you someone who mainly sticks to a routine? Do you have a regular work schedule that you are required to follow daily?
Then the first step towards better time management is to just go about your day and record how much time it takes to perform your tasks. Be detailed and feel free to note your energy levels as well.
- Form a realistic schedule. You can use the results of the previous tip to formulate a realistic schedule. Don’t forget to make some wiggle time in between tasks. It can be quite easy to overestimate how much time it takes to do things when we’re not really doing them.
- Control your environment. Recording your normal routine per day can also point out any unnecessary habits and activities that eat up your time, like social media and video streaming. You can then use this info to control your environment to minimize distractions and encourage you to adhere to your schedule.
For instance, you might want to consider deleting your social media apps on your home, or at the very least, hiding them in a folder that won’t be the first thing to show up upon opening your phone.
- Set aside time for rest, play, and distractions. Being too caught up in productivity, and of course, strict time management routines can potentially burn you out and then lead to procrastination and sluggishness.
Hence, don’t forget to incorporate the things that you enjoy doing into your schedule. In this way, they won’t be distractions and you’ll be able to do them guilt-free.
- Control “official” distractions. Since we’re already talking about distractions, what about those tasks that can still ruin our momentum but require actual work and attention, like emails and phone calls?
Again, whatever they are, incorporate them into your schedule. For instance, you might want to limit email checking to thrice or twice a day. On the other hand, you can also consider setting a schedule for all phone calls, including those from family and friends. Just tell them when is the best time to call you and keep that free.This can even improve your social life since people would feel freer to contact you without the burden of “accidentally disturbing” you weighing them down.
- Learn to say no. Speaking of social engagements, we recognize that it can be difficult to say no at times, especially if it’s even remotely work-related.
Remember, though, that while you’re saying yes to something, you’re also saying no to something else. It’s useful to think about before deciding on any opportunity that might ruin your schedule and set you back from your tasks.This is also a good time to think about your priorities.
- Leverage technology. Finally, you don’t have to do time management on your own. There are numerous time management apps that are free to use to keep you right on track with your schedules.
You can also consider getting a virtual assistant or a time management consultant to help you out if you really find it impossible to keep up with the schedules that you come up fo yourself. Good luck!