It’s easy to feel unproductive when you have a long “to-do” list. Whether it be deadlines you have to meet at work, remembering your daughter’s dance recital, taking your sick pet to the vet or making time to attend to your son who needs help with his homework, as separate tasks your daily responsibilities can be easy to tackle but the real challenge comes when everything seems to require your attention at the same time. The issue here is when these things pile up, it can cause you to feel quite stressed, anxious and of course, unproductive. You may even start feeling like you’re failing at everything because you can’t do any of your tasks in a timely manner which leads to decreased motivation to try to actually finish something. If you’re wondering how to get rid of this negative feeling and how to have a more productive day, look no further. Below are easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:
1. Make an achievable to-do list
One of the simplest ways to be more productive throughout the day is to make an achievable to-do list. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the vast quantity of tasks that you have to do from day to day. Sometimes when a lot of responsibilities are on us, it’s easy to lose track and forget some key things that need to be done. When you get extremely busy, it’s also easy to end up feeling like you’re barely able to keep your head above water. This is why we suggest keeping a to-do list to help you be better organised. Organising your tasks with a list can make everything more manageable and make you feel in control of the tasks before you. A to-do list gives you a clear outline of your completed and uncompleted tasks, that way, you remain more focused. In fact, the to-do list serves as an external memory aid since naturally, we tend to forget things due to the nature of our short term memories.
2. Tackle one task at a time
When you find yourself being super busy it’s very common to try multitasking in the hope of being more productive. While this seems like a faster way to get things done, it’s better to focus on one task at a time. When you are striving to do two or more tasks at the same time, you are forcing your brain to switch focus very quickly between the tasks instead of truly doing them at your best. Although you might see no problem in doing so, it’s a risky practice if you want to be productive since you are more likely to forget details, feel stressed or make mistakes. Then, you may have to redo your work which just takes up more time. This is why we suggest that you focus on one task at a time when working on something critical. If an activity requires your full attention, then give it your full attention.
3. Stop and reflect
A misconception is that in order to feel more productive and be successful, you have to do work constantly, day and night, non-stop. While this may seem strange, a part of minimising your stress and being productive includes making time for breaks and some relaxation. Give yourself some spare time in order to relax, reflect on any obstacles you have to face and you might actually see them from a different perspective. This can happen whether you’re having fun with people or going for a walk outside after a tiring brainstorming session. You would find that by taking a break every now and then in order to step back, reflect and prioritise, you can execute in a highly focused and productive way.
4. Write out positive affirmations
A part of your unproductive feeling comes from the things you subconsciously say to yourself when you’re overwhelmed and stressed. Treat yourself in a more compassionate way and replace your inner critic with something better. Instead of negative self-talk, get used to positive affirmations. Although they are just words, affirmations are powerful ways to retrain your brain and cultivate a better mindset. This is great practice if you want to focus inwardly, improve your habits and enhance your productivity. Not only are you prioritising your mental health while getting work done but it can set you on the road to better self-care.
We know that the best way to get going with the tips we’ve listed is to use some tools that’ll make doing them easier. The brand @ItsPrettyProductive which focuses on locally made stationery for a beautifully organised life, can help you do just that. Co-founded by the boss babe sister duo, Paris and Roxy James, the beautiful custom-made stationery (from planners, journals, notebooks and even stickers) has been inspiring people to maximise their productivity daily. The aim of the sisters is to make planning fun and exciting so that their clients are always motivated to be productive and organised. Remember to stay connected with us @xxthemag on Facebook and Instagram as we partner with ‘It’s Pretty Productive’ to help you become more productive too.