Productivity Principles: Part 1

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Productivity Principles: Part 1

Productive Person

There are millions of productivity principles, so it makes sense to choose best ones, which are proven to be effective through real practice. They are quite simple and easy to be used it one’s regular life.

Here are six tested principles that can seriously influence your life even today.

1. Goals Are Created for The Present Day, Not for The Future

Laziness and lack of motivation take place when it is required to work for a long time in order to get a serious result. That is why you need to understand the fact, that you can have profits from the goal set up right away, and not in a distant perspective.

The advice like “Sacrifice yourself today for getting a wonderful future” can literally kill motivation and any beautiful wish. Sacrificing oneself and feeling difficulties when it is possible to avoid them is probably the silliest activity of the whole life.

People who act like that are unable to get satisfaction from the process off goal achievement, they are unhappy until they reach it. And they get disappointed after, as the new goal is set right away. Remember: there is no any reason to suffer on your way to the goal, it all depends on your attitude.

Set difficult and ambitious goals, but be conscious about the fact of you becoming a bit better and reaching intermediate goals every day before you fall asleep. Setting up intermediate goals is what can help you touch your future success and gain motivation to continue moving. Even if you wrote only a page of text for your future book, you lived your day not in vain. Today you became better than you were yesterday, and this is a great feeling. It is important to avoid taking your success for granted.

How to Use this Principle

Ask yourself: “Can setting up this goal make me better today?”. If you can’t find a good answer, you better rework your goal or throw it out of your head.

2. Track Your Progress

If you want to train something every day, then use calendar. If you want to write a book, track the number of words written daily.

You can improve anything if to pay attention to your progress every day. While you track it, you receive information. This means that, if you haven’t trained or written a single word during the day, you instantly see how your inactivity influences the overall result: in graphs, in calendars or just in your to-do list.

What is even more interesting is the fact, that you gain additional motivation while tracking your progress. This phenomenon is called Hawthorne effect: people change their behavior because of knowing that someone looks at them. This means, that a simple tracking can help you avoid making yourself to do something, you’ll just do it automatically.

How to Use This Principle

  • Use Tracking Systems. It can be a usual piece of paper, a computer or various smartphone apps as well. For instance, there are beautiful tracking instruments that motivate to keep training for those who go in for sports. Those apps are able to draw graphs that show how many calories you have burned during the training.
  • Start a Diary. It is important not only to track numbers and progress, but to write a diary where you can form all your thoughts and doubts, support yourself and find hidden resources for motivation.

3. Treat Decisions that Are to Be Made as Regular Tasks

Decision Making Process

Taking responsibilities for oneself is one of the most effective tips for productivity. But it causes the certain problem: once you decide to keep your responsibilities, you start hesitating before taking them. Actually, taking any responsibility is a deed of a serious and grown-up person and a noble goal, but it is easy to cheat on yourself and stop taking them as well.

It all leads to that, you start delaying the moment of decision-making. Each decision you make means lots of tasks coming with it.

These delayed decisions take a lot of your energy just because of staying in such a “hanged” status, and moreover, they become reasons for procrastination. That is why you can’t allow them to stay uncertain for a long time. Otherwise, they will continue taking away your energy and delaying important decisions in your life.

Of course, this all causes the most difficult decisions to be delayed till the very last moment, and then completed ineffectively.

How to Use This Principle

  • Make Upcoming Decisions Be Precise. Do not allow important decisions to pointlessly drift through your mind, treat them as other regular tasks. Write them down and then complete them.
  • Set Up Time Frames for Decision Making. People often lie to themselves by thinking that it will be easier to make a decision if they wait longer. Set up a timer (for 10 minutes, for instance), take a piece of paper and a pen, and make your decision as that time expires.

4. Be Simpler

While creating lists, people often use serious words, build complicated sentences. When it comes to completing the task, they read their own list and can even dislike it because it seems for that list to be written by someone else. This is another reason to do nothing. Congratulations, you’ve got another procrastination generator.

Your brain wants to see the task being very difficult in order to get away from work. If you give it such a possibility on the task-list stage already, it can catch up with it gladly. So, yes, you need to plan tasks and to set goals at any case, but make them maximally simple and easy to understand.

How to Use this Principle

  • Use Simple Instruments and Methods. They can’t take more time than task completion itself.
  • Look for Ways to Simplify Things All the Time. That’s a way of thinking. Look for ways of simplifying your routine in order to free time for more important things.

5. New Day is Different

Productive Day

You just need to accept that: after the extremely productive day, regress will come. And that is normal. But the more you work on yourself, the more productive days you can have in your future.

Same can be said about your unproductive present day. If everything falls out of your hands, maybe it is worth to put your tasks away, to have a walk and to do something pleasant. And then, in some hours, to try once more. If you still can’t do a thing, then you’ll have to do a lot of work on the next day, and in present, you can do what you want.

How to Use this Principle

  • Treat the New Day as “Zero”. Forget about the previous and future days. You have only present, and only certain tasks are available.  Забудьте о вчерашнем и не думайте о завтрашнем, есть только сегодня и конкретные задания.
  • Do Not Make Two Mistakes in a Row. This can lead to procrastination or fear. So, if you fail once, make learning a mistake your priority. Then, make conclusions and avoid same mistakes in future.

6. You Already Know What You Have to Do

Despite the fact that there are numerous methods, approaches and systems of productivity, success tracking and time management, them all are just instruments. If you are not able to organize yourself, these instruments are only temporary measures.

What is interesting is that you already know what should be done. Every human knows and understands what he or she really wants. People just usually muffle that voice and follow their instant pleasures.

You need to gain more self-confidence and to store some bravery, as any quality jump in your self-development takes lots of time to happen.

How to Use this Principle

  • Listen to Your Fears. What exactly do you try to avoid? If you waste lots of your energy for fears, then you should get rid of them or try understanding them and gaining some experience from that knowledge. Some fears can point on your most ambitious plans.
  • Have Important Things with You. If you need a pencil and a list of paper to do your job, then put them nearby you. And put additional pencils and papers there, too. Don’t give yourself a reason not to work.

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