We all want to be productive. We buy bullet journals and diaries and use systems that experts claim to be the most effective and infallible. We try everything we can to be more productive. To do more and use our 24 hours wisely. We cut hours of our sleep, and listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead of doing nothing. Some of us wear a uniform to work even if we don't have to. Decision fatigue, I get it.
Don't get me wrong I love my bujo with all my heart and miracle mornings taught me everything I know about discipline. I love productivity tools! I probably tried a dozen before I found out what works for me, and I'm still willing to adjust, according to my goals. Yeah, I am a productivity nerd. However, I think I am not going to do you any favour if I throw at you a bunch of productivity aids before I tell you these five things:
Self-care and grounding practices are the base of productivity. I don't care what your goals are. If you do not take care of yourself, you will either not achieve your goals or accomplish them at the cost of your mental and or physical health which is pretty much the same as not succeeding. If you can not enjoy your achievements, then what's the point? Yes, you can sacrifice some things, but for me sacrificing health is not an option. I love the idea of preventing disease, instead of curing it. That's why we should take care of ourselves. Also, that will help us perform at our highest capability.
Productivity is not about doing more. It is about doing things in a way that help you do less and yeah, achieve more. How many busy people do you know? Are they happy or stressed all the time? Busyness isn't cool anymore. Productive people do a few things here and there that help them achieve more goals with less effort. That's what productivity means.
You don't need the tool of the year. You need to find the one tool that works for you and use it. I know, I've been there. There is always a new tool, a new app, a new way of doing things! Woop, Woop! See, I got all excited just thinking about it. I've tried apps and diaries, spreadsheets and all sorts of tools until I realized that what works for me is my bujo. I personalize it and organize it in a way that works for me. You may look at it and say "What in the world?!" but believe or not, that thing keeps me on track and helps me focus. Most of the times, a day without looking at my bujo equals an unproductive day. For you, it may be something different. It's just a matter of finding out what works best for you. What's trendy now may not be the answer you are looking for. Trust your judgement and go for it!
Procrastination is not the enemy. It is a sign of one of these two things: it can be either a sign that you should be doing something else or that you are sabotaging yourself for some reason. Figure out the answer and address it. Ask yourself why are you procrastinating, track your behaviour. Are you procrastinating on a specific task? What is it that this task is asking you to do? Do you have to step up? Is that scary? Find out what is causing your procrastination. Sometimes it may be something as simple as you are just tired and need to have real rest or it can also be something deeper. Dig in, you will find the answer. And once you know...
Happiness is the best motivator you will ever have. To be productive, you have got to be at least satisfied with what you are doing. I don't mean you have to enjoy the task. I, for instance, don't fancy spending hours in front of the computer. But thinking about the moment I will get to share the finished product with the audience makes everything a lot easier. There are tons of motivation techniques, tips and tools, which I use daily, but I'm yet to know a better fuel than happiness. When you are happy you feel energized, motivated, joyful, it's easier to maintain focus, and things don't bother you as much. Following a schedule becomes easy and you do not worry as much when you don't stick to it.
There you go! Now you have the base to be a healthy and productive person. Next week we will cover some productivity tools, tips and techniques. For now, remember to take care of yourself, find ways to do things more effectively, investigate what tools are in the market that could be a good fit for you, find the source of your procrastination if you have been procrastinating and be happy!