Productivity, something that most people struggle with. Some more than others, obviously! Being productive means work is getting done, goals are getting achieved, and moves are being made. Productivity is a great habit to fall into. Maybe you are productive overall but want to be more productive in the moment.
There are certain ways you can be more productive in the moment. This ultimately means you are focused on the appropriate tasks at hand. You aren’t consistently getting distracted, and you aren’t stopping until the task is complete. If you struggle with being productive, start by taking it day by day. These 6 ways to be more productive in the moment can help!
#1 Specify what exactly needs to get done
Before you get to work on something, you should know exactly what needs to be worked on. Ideally, you would have already created a to-do list or have thought through the specific project that needs to be worked on.
Now that you know what you should be working on for the day, you should specify the sub-tasks or mini-projects that need to get done today. When you begin work with the mindset of knowing exactly what needs to get done, it makes the rest of the productivity steps that much easier.
Having exactly what you need to work on specified will also make it easier to stay focused. If you have a few different projects going on at the same time, it’s easy to feel scatter-brained. This can open the door for multiple sub-tasks and mini-projects for multiple goals to be worked on, as opposed to getting all sub-tasks done for a specific goal.
#2 Make sure all your resources are handy
Since you know the sub-tasks and mini-projects you will be working on, make sure you have all of the resources and information you need to complete those tasks handy. Gather everything you’ll need (apps, resources, files, reference materials, etc., and make sure they are in one, easily accessible place. Google Drive is a great resource, if you’re working online.
You will also want to have water, coffee, and snacks on hand. Nothing can take you away from your work like thirst or hunger! Have your glass of water or cup of coffee ready for you to begin your productive moments of work.
For me, when I’m writing articles for City Girl Savings, I’m most productive at my local Barnes and Noble. It’s something about the smell of books that puts me in the mood to write! My Starbucks latte certainly helps too!
#3 Eliminate distractions
The best way to eliminate distractions? Turn off your cell phone! A ringing phone that blows your concentration can do major damage to your productivity-based mindset. A turned off cell phone also makes it harder for you to take a break to peruse social media. If possible, put your cell phone in another room or leave it in the car if you are working remotely.
Other distractions could be the TV or working from home, when you live with someone. The TV can take your attention away from what you’re working on, so make sure it is off before you dive into work. Also, working with people around makes it easier for them to come bother you. If you have a lock on the door, go ahead and let them know you will be busy for the next few hours and then lock the door.
Focusing on multiple tasks at once can also lead to distractions. If you read and implemented tip number one, this shouldn’t be the case. However, if you do find yourself distracted by tasks associated with another project, make a note of it and return to it after your “must-do” day’s tasks are completed.
#4 Give yourself timeframes for tasks
Your to-do list will tell you what needs to get done in the day, but it doesn’t tell you how much time you are giving yourself to complete the items for the day. This can lead to procrastination and things just not getting done at all.
Instead, give yourself deadlines for each of the sub-tasks and mini-projects you have set for the day. Be realistic – it’s better to overestimate your time than underestimate it. If you give yourself more time than you actually need, plan what will happen. Maybe you will take a 10-minute walk outside and then get a head start on the next sub-task.
Giving yourself timeframes for your daily tasks will also keep a little pressure on you to get stuff done. The earlier you can devote your time to the tasks, the earlier you can complete everything and go about your day. This does wonders for me. I typically start my day (after coffee and my morning routine) getting my daily tasks completed before anything else.
#5 Don’t stop until you’re finished
The final stretch is usually the hardest for most people. Studies show that many people feel anxious about finishing a project and tend to prefer to bring multiple projects to 80% done rather than putting in the work to just finish one. If you are only working on sub-tasks and mini-projects for a specific goal or project, this should not be an issue.
Following the tips above will make it easier for you to keep going until you’re finished with the items that need to be completed for the day.
#6 Reward yourself for a job well done
When that final task for the day is complete and checked off your to-do list, take a moment to recognize yourself. You did it! Often times we skip the small victories, when those can be the most important. Now that you are done for the day, you are free to do things that make you happy!
Binge-watch TV, go out to dinner with a friend, head to the movies. Whatever makes you happy, reward yourself for a job well done. You can also use this tactic to help you stay focused and motivated during work. If you know that a nice dinner out is at the end of the day, make sure you can truly enjoy it by having everything else complete beforehand.
Related: 5 Productive Ways to Take on Your To-Do List
Being productive is not always easy, but there’s no denying the results of a productive day! If you struggle with being productive in the moment, make a conscious effort to change what you normally do. Try new things that help you be as productive as you can be. What are some productivity tips you can share? Myself and other CGS readers would love to know, so post a comment in the section below!