We all get times when we are feeling unproductive. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just snap your fingers and get some lasting fixes to increase productivity. Especially at this time of the year when there is so much hustle and bustle going on around us. The new year is around the corner and we look back at the year that is almost on its back.
I look back and I wonder about where the days have gone. I feel a gnawing sense that I should have accomplished more than what I have.
While it is easy to feel self-critical when we look back, it is a much better use of our time to acknowledge what we have done.
It is also a time of year when we may feel tired.
I know in our home life, so much has happened this past year. My husband got a new position in the company he works for. He has been traveling a lot for said new job. I finally finished my degree. We bought a house and moved to the countryside.
When you are feeling that slump but there are still things to be done, you have a find a way to get moving.
Productivity is a mindset as much as anything.
Here is the secret: Think productive = Become productive
Analysis paralysis is to productivity what a spoon is to cutting meat. No good.
Lasting fixes to increase productivity
1. Don’t wait until you feel ready
It’s like getting out of bed on a cold winter morning. You really don’t *feel* like it but there comes a point where you just have to do it.
Relying on our feelings alone is a dangerous barometer to determine our actions. Waiting for yourself to “feel right” before taking action means that you potentially lose an opportunity that could otherwise make the difference in your career, business or relationship.
You don’t want to always wing it. Planning and consideration is important. But it becomes a problem when you think so much about something that it prevents you from taking action.
Most likely you will find that taking the first little step is all you need to feel motivated and productive again.
I find the best way to make use of this quick fix is to get in touch with what I am feeling first. Suppressing or denying your negative feelings here won’t do you any good. In fact, it never does.
When you bring your feelings to light, you acknowledge what is going on for you. This helps to identify barriers or obstacles that are in your way. It can also give you clarity on what first steps you need to take.
Of course, none of this is any good if you then don’t do something about it. It comes down to a choice. Are you going to or not? Sounds simplified and it is in a way. But when you really look at it, that’s what it is about: are you going to or not?
If you choose to commit, and say YES, decide when are you going to take the first steps.
It’s quite fascinating how making a decision gets you out of limbo and automatically be one of the fixes to increase productivity.
2. Remember your past successes
It is not a good idea to live in the past. We can get stuck there and forget to experience our live in the present.
However, the mind is a funny thing and it works in mysterious ways. When we remember our successes and achievements, we strengthen the those neural pathways that formed in our brains.
It can serve as a powerful motivator when you remember those things that you did well. Those productivity neurons start firing and it might just be what you need to get going.
Our fears that we might fail, can paralyse us. It can cause us to stall, procrastinate and just feel meh.
Try this, think back over the last 6 months and remember what you did well. Now, think back to the past year, then the past two years.
I think you get the picture. Point is, you want to remember where else in your life you did well so that you can get happy juices flowing.
3. Create a pull to your future
A powerful secret to creating lasting change is to have a vision that pulls you towards the future that you want.
This is a neat little trick that I have used in the past with a lot of success.
Create a high-definition, surround-sound vision of what you want. Imagine with feelings, sounds and colours exactly what it is like to live in that future. What steps will get you there? What actions do you need to take to make that vision a reality?
Often this is enough to break the lethargy and get yourself motivated.
You can amp this up even more by visualising this movie before you go to bed at night. This way your subconscious gets to percolate on it all night. Much better than thinking about your problems!
4. Take a break
My final point is quite the opposite of what I am saying above.
Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break. The value lies in being self-aware enough to realise what you need and how to take care of those needs.
So how do we become self-aware?
The short answer here is that we pay attention to our emotions and our thoughts. We do not allow them to control our actions. We choose how to act, in spite of what we think or feel and in that way our self-awareness develops.