Humans love to-do lists. Marking things makes us feel good and our desire to always achieve results grows. As a result, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be productive. But when we fall behind on things, anxiety, burnout, and stress can occur.
Productivity is more than just finishing a to-do list. It’s a mindset: the more mentally prepared we are for productivity, the more we accomplish and the less stress we feel. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of eight tips to help you transform the way you think and increase your productivity at work and in life.
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Use these tips to increase your productivity
Many think that psychology is only for treatingproblems, but it also has a lot to say about how we handle the small details of our daily lives. here are eight you can use to change your perspective and do more.
1. Start by organizing your thoughts
Where there is a disorganized mind, there is usually a disorganized environment… and vice versa. We often feel overwhelmed and unproductive simply because all we can see is the pile of unfinished tasks in front of us.
If that’s where you’re starting, then take a deep breath. Simply going through the tasks probably isn’t going to help, and may make things worse. It is better to start by clearing your head and organizing your thoughts.
Research from the National Council on Aging has shown that mental disorganization tends to create more stress and impulsive behavior, neither of which help you be productive. So, before you tackle your to-do list, why not take a moment to think, journal, pray, or meditate so you can organize your thoughts? If you begin to organize your tasks with a sense of clarity and purpose, you will be much more effective in making a plan.
2. Plan your day (or week)
You probably know the feeling. You work and work, but you never seem to get anything important done. That is because you have given in to the tyranny of the urgent.
This is the truth: you will never finish everything you could do. There is always something else to tackle or someone else to tell you what needs to be done. Instead of playing mole every day, you need a plan to help you achieve what matters most.
Planning your day or your week is an exercise in mental discipline. It requires you to consider what is most important to you, whether in your work or personal life, and schedule tasks that reflect those priorities. Think of it as a chance to check in with yourself and make sure you’re spending your time well.
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3. Start with something easy
If you’re wondering how to be more productive, it’s generally not a good idea to put off the biggest and most difficult tasks in favor of the easiest ones. In fact, research from Emory University shows that people who typically tackle big tasks first are more productive overall.
That said, when you’re initially trying to get the wheels of productivity spinning, it can help to start with one or two easy tasks. Checking a few quick things off your list can give you a sense of accomplishment and set just enough momentum to help you get going.
However, once you’ve gotten that flurry of achievements, don’t get bogged down in the easy tasks. Take that energy and use it to do something great.
4. Break big tasks into smaller ones
When you turn to more complex work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the effort required. When the finish line feels far away, you may be tempted to give up or just go back to ticking off small tasks.
The trick here, according to Emory’s research, is to turn those big tasks into small ones. Take the end goal of your project and break it down into small, manageable steps that you can accomplish one by one.
For example, let’s say you want to plan a big road trip for your family. It’s not possible to nail down all the details at once, so try breaking them down. Perhaps your first goal is to research your route and places to stay so you can budget for travel expenses. Start there, then move on to the next important task.
Breaking big tasks down into small, manageable ones will help keep you motivated to keep going because it gives you those little moments of accomplishment. And motivation is a key psychological factor in staying productive.
5. Create limits for yourself and others
In today’s work environments, we are constantly distracted. Open workplace layouts and digital communication tools make us feel like we need to be constantly available to our colleagues. But this constant availability can come at a great cost when it comes to productivity.
Research from the University of California, Irvine shows just how costly even simple distractions can be. The results showed that it takes the average worker more than 23 minutes to regain focus after being distracted.
What can we learn from this? If you want to be productive, it’s important to minimize distractions so you can maximize focus. And doing that requires you to set some boundaries. Turn off notifications, log out of social media, and let your coworkers know when you’re unavailable. Give it a try for a week and see how much more you can do. You may feel less stressed when you take a moment to relax with a colleague.
6. Ask for help when you need it
Just because you’re becoming a master of productivity doesn’t mean you won’t need help from time to time. Whether you have too much on your plate or need to pass on some tasks that don’t fit your expertise, getting others involved can help you stay productive now and in the future.
For example, let’s say you’re stuck creating spreadsheets you need for an important project. Your expertise lies not in spreadsheets, but in presentation design. Passing your spreadsheets to a colleague who’s an Excel guru will do that part of the job better and allow you to focus on creating a great presentation.
Ultimately, delegating can reduce stress and free up mental space so you can focus on the tasks that matter most to you.
7. Congratulate yourself when you achieve things
The road to becoming more productive is long, and it takes a lot of mental strength to stay on track. Along the way, you will achieve many things, both small and significant. Take time to acknowledge what you have done from time to time.
If you never stop to give yourself a pat on the back, you risk becoming too focused on staying productive. When you’re always looking for the next thing on your list, you can end up where you started: overwhelmed and exhausted. Celebrate your accomplishments so you can keep your motivation high.
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8. Get things for yourself
The best way to avoid getting caught up in the never-ending hamster wheel of productivity is to make sure you include a few things you love in the mix.
It’s not just about taking a breather, although that’s important. Research shows that workers are more productive when they are happy. Prioritizing some of your own hobbies and interests can fill your tank and help keep you motivated and focused so you can do your best work when the time comes.
The bottom line
Following these psychological productivity tips will help you regain focus and get more done. Remember that productivity is not everything. Exhaustion can lead to serious physical andSo it’s important to watch for the signs. When you obsess over your daily to-do list, it’s probably a good sign that it’s time to take a break. Ultimately, you will be more productive in the long run.
Good mental health is critical to your overall health and well-being. For more information on how to keep your mind in good shape, check out theseY .
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or healthcare goals.