With the beaming light from my phone and a distinct “ding”, I received a message from my friend. She was up until the wee hours to finish her Interior Design plates. She asked my professional advice regarding the root of her need to procrastinate.
Productivity is premium at this time. It is usually expressed as a ratio of input to output. You may illustrate it as the number of products produced per working hour. Given the cost of the working hours, productivity can also measure the efficiency of a business.
Productivity matters because there is so much that needs to get done in a day. In most business models, profitability is a function of productivity, price, and volume. Interestingly, productivity can be seen as subjective. You define how productive you are. Often, there is a gap between reality and perceived productivity. Combat this by following these tips.
1. SET BITE-SIZED TASKS
2. FOCUS THEN PAUSE
3. KNOW WHY YOU PROCRASTINATE
4. BE PRESENT
5. ALLOW YOURSELF TO FAIL
#1: SET BITE-SIZED TASKS
You do not have to finish everything in one consumption. For instance, I have taken the Google Digital Garage Digital Marketing course for three days. Initially, I have the choice to finish everything in one day or to follow the rhythm of my pacing. I chose the latter. It is healthier that way!
Create a schedule for tasks that need to be completed and break these down into tiny parts. Segmentation allows you to celebrate the completion of each task. This boosts your confidence and helps increase your motivation to continue on.
#2: FOCUS THEN PAUSE
Create a schedule following a specific time-slot to guide your work from home. Focus for periods spanning from 90 to 120 minutes. Then, pause and walk within your flat or nearby. This will help you refresh your mind.
You may also indulge yourself in distractions. It does not hurt to play a game for 10 to 20 minutes. Do the things you were told not to do at the workplace. You deserve this short break. Afterwards, go back to the task at hand.
#3: KNOW WHY YOU PROCRASTINATE
Going back to my friend, I analyzed her need to procrastinate. In her case, it is because she is a perfectionist. She feels the pressure of designing her plates right to get the approval of her supervisor. People envision outcomes so outstanding that their expectations become more intimidating than inspirational.
“Perfectionists aren’t people who do something perfectly. Perfectionists are people who fantasize about doing something perfectly.” – Mr. John Perry, a Philosophy Professor at Stanford University
For entrepreneurs who hold accountability for everything, procrastination is a problem. It usually happens when they have no experience or are not familiar with the topic at hand. Knowing why you procrastinate is the first step!
#4: BE PRESENT
Oh, mindfulness! I have completed 11 days of my mindfulness meditation journey. In my path, I realized that being present is a great way to be productive.
A mindful person knows how to differentiate what is “important” and what is “urgent”. Knowing these labels can help you prioritize certain tasks. Moreover, you will be able to lessen the time spent on unimportant tasks.
#5: ALLOW YOURSELF TO FAIL
Productivity does not equate to perfection! Allow yourself to abandon the plan for the day. Sometimes, things do not go the way you want it to. With the uncertainty knocking in our doors, it is helpful to focus on the progress and allow yourself to fail once in a while.
Technology can either help or distract you. Does it mean that you will quit using it entirely? Of course not! Allow your brain to move from one task to another whenever it pleases. After all, the circuit breaker period is teaching us the importance of slowing down and focusing on what is important.