How to Lead a Productive Life

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When it comes to productivity and incorporating it into a part of your everyday lifestyle, there is often initial restraint or hesitation. It’s not unusual for people to grow accustomed to the easy route and procrastinate before they initiate any real change. But work and household chores must be completed, and we must continue to better ourselves if we want to nurture our personal lives or propel our careers forward.
 
We all know that change brings about results. We know that in order to alter our reality or attain productive behaviour, we need to do things differently. But sometimes, as the days pass, it’s human nature to fall back into that same old routine. The one that’s comfortable. The one that’s stopping you from moving forward.
 
On the voyage to finding your most productive self, there will naturally be many roadblocks, and they come in a variety of colours. From binging TV shows and succumbing to social media deep dives to a poor mindset and addictive sluggishness. The important thing is to be aware of these barriers and to seek fresh new ways to overcome them.
 
The first step to generating productivity is to create a picture in your head of the person you’d like to be in a week, a month or a year, and to envision the specific tasks you’d like to accomplish. From there, you can curate a plan and set a series of goals. What follows after that is perhaps the trickiest part - fulfilling them.
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Below are a series of tools and simple life hacks that will help you tackle that last part.

1. Eliminate addictive behaviour

Addiction can flourish in anything. It can be coffee and bad food. It can be cigarettes and alcohol. And it can also be the things we don’t associate with addiction at all. Things like mindless browsing and social media or overworking and overexercising. Though those last behaviours can be positive, anything is harmful if done in excess.
Be on the lookout for behaviour that wastes valuable time or is damaging to your overall peace of mind.
 

2. Use helpful apps

In this era, there’s an app for almost everything including, how to manage wasted time and track unproductive habits. A great example is TimeIvy. In a concise format and with a subtle approach, this particular app shows its users where their time is being spent and misused. It also uses a digital tree that will either flourish or flounder depending on productivity levels.
Other apps or digital tools that can help you manage productivity:
  • Download goal-setting apps
  • Use an app to stay on top of bills
  • Get a daily planner on your phone
  • Utilize the reminder app to stay on track or set deadlines
  • Check screentime and set limits on games or social media apps
  • Use social media as a motivator – follow accounts that are motivational and uplifting
 

3. Organize your space

Deep clean your work and home spaces. Organize your desk, computer, phone and house in maintainable ways. A clean and decluttered environment creates a clear mindset and uplifts energy. The less you feel muddled and disorganized, the more likely you are to feel inspired and ready to take on the day.
  • Declutter your desktop
  • Create a digital filing system for personal and work
  • Ensure folders are labelled and stored in an accessible way
  • Use bins and shelves to get items off the floor
  • Look for easy life-hack tools on Amazon
    • Kitchen Gadgets
    • Organizing products
  • Delete old emails
  • Tidy up your calendar and colour-code events
  • Sell or donate old items and clothes

4. Take care of your mental health

If you lack confidence, experience anxiety or feel down and out, the mere idea of achieving anything is cumbersome. Mental health is such an important factor in productivity because if it’s not nurtured and managed, it’s next to impossible to forge ahead.
Here are a few things you can do during mental health lulls:
  • Don’t bottle your emotions or dismiss what you’re going through
  • Seek help, speak to a friend or a professional
  • Exercise frequently
  • Go on daily walks
  • Use your vacation time to reset
  • Practice mindfulness with meditation and yoga
  • Take time to yourself to relax
  • Surround yourself with positive relationships
  • Challenge yourself and avoid being stuck
  • Treat yourself to a spa day
  • Check your vitamin levels and hydrate frequently
  • Know that you’re not alone and there are resources that can help you
 

5. Treat yourself

Productivity is a journey and one that deserves accolades for the wins. Each time you complete a key task, treat yourself. Like a kid getting ice cream for good behaviour, you too need that praise as an adult. Whatever it is that counts as a treat for you, whether that’s a long lunch hour or a trip to the nearest bakery, reward yourself for a job well done. This builds reliability within yourself and gives you something to look forward to.

6. Don’t keep your goals a secret

The more you shout about the things you set out to do, the likelier you are to do them. Talk to friends, family and colleagues about your plans. You should be proud of your ambitions and the people in your life will keep you on track of them.

7. Don’t give up

Plans change, our moods shift, and life gets in the way more often than not. Know that it’s ok to fail or endure setbacks, they’re a part of being human. Allow wiggle room when making plans, setting goals, and making schedules. Avoid any unnecessary feelings of deflation and don’t be too hard on yourself. The best thing you can do is get right back on that saddle and try again.
 
Being productive is a lifestyle choice. It requires action, perseverance, and mindful change. There is no rulebook on being productive, only an internal shift. So, don’t let any hesitation or procrastinating antics get in your way. In the words of entrepreneur Jim Rohn, “if you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”