We live in an advanced society. A world that turns faster and faster and where time seems to be increasingly scarce. Workers who are always running down the street to do as many tasks in the day, entrepreneurs who are not able to handle all the workload that comes their way every day, etc. I want to talk to you about how to be productive in life. Also, I want to show you practical solutions so you can take action today.
All these people have to cut back on their free time, sacrifice time with family or their hobbies to be able to scrape as much as possible all day. Productivity can help you to make money fast.
” I wish the day had 30 hours” or “I do not have time for anything” are becoming more common.
They sound good to you, do not they?
Technology plays a fundamental role in all this. It is part of the cause that we have less time, but also offers solutions to end this agony.
The day has 24 hours for everyone. We are not talking about privileged people who have more hours. What makes the difference is the time management we do.
Bad management can lead to ruin, stress, and health problems.
How to be productive in life?
A simple definition would be something like “everything that steals your time.”
All those actions, internal or external to you that make you dedicate your time to unimportant tasks. All those interruptions, digital distractions and lack of focus, is what mainly makes your time fly.
Without realizing it, after days, weeks and months go by; you see that you have not advanced anything and you continue with a lot of open fronts.
We mainly find two types:
External: Are those that do not depend on you or that you can not control them. For example notifications, messages, telephone, etc.
Internal: They depend solely on you. From trying to do several things at the same time, as the lack of willpower or the classic “leave for tomorrow what you could have done today.”
In a study carried out by the University of California, it was concluded that because of these distractions, we spent between 10 and 25 minutes to recover the concentration we had focused on.
If you multiply that by the times it happens, you can take your hands to your head.
Your 5 princely thieves of time
1. Mobile and desktop notifications
We are undoubtedly the biggest source of distractions.
In the society in which we live it is unthinkable to be without a mobile phone nearby or to be working without a computer. Both one and the other can interfere in our performance with great weight.
Nobody can blame the great advance that it gives us, but it can become a double-edged sword if we can not control it correctly.
You are working on your computer, and a desktop notification of a new email appears, and you go directly to check it. Or you’re focused on working, and the phone rings with some new Facebook notification or a retweet.
All these things can wait. Nothing is so important that it has to be resolved at that precise moment.
If you are one of those who look at the mobile every 2 × 3 to see all the updates there are and answer them at once, you are spending your hours of the day in a very unproductive way.
Instead, try to isolate yourself from these factors.
Try as much as possible to activate airplane mode on your phone, to have 0 options of distraction through the phone. If your work involves phone calls, try at least to deactivate notifications from the bar.
I’m not telling you not to keep an eye on your social networks, for example. Simply, try to make prudential use of them. Check them in already planned blocks of time. For example, half an hour after lunch and after dinner, but not halfway through your workday.
2. Lack of planning
An essential habit of being able to advance productively is planning. The lack of it will lead to improvisations in the plan of each day, or what is the same, go crossing out tasks to be crossed, regardless of whether they are important or not.
Carry out strict planning (but then change due to unforeseen events) is the basis of any project that wants to succeed.
To do this, you have to create good objectives that are clear, well defined, measurable and achievable. This is done by creating SMART goals or smart goals. They will be the ones who will not leave loose ends at the time of planning.
It is not the same as to say:
“I’m going to create a course to learn how to create a blog.”
“I’m going to create a course to learn how to create a blog that includes 10 lessons during the next quarter.”
They are just several more words that have further defined the claim.
Having this clear, we must have a clear vision of the future. Take into account annual, monthly and weekly objectives. Set some goals that you want to achieve in the long term to make a breakdown into smaller and achievable objectives.
Finally, it will be the daily action plan, composed of small tasks, which you can carry out easily.
The more planned this is, the less you have to think about when you start working on it. All of this will save you time.
Always remember, it is better that you are made to be perfect. Do not try to do something ideal; do not let perfectionism make you delay all your goals.
3. Email tray
The inbox of our mail manager has become one of the biggest time thieves.
If you are one of those people who, while working, leave the browser tab open, I already confirm that you are in a state of constant and unnecessary alert.
The need to be aware of all the novelties must be eliminated from the mind. The priorities of others are not the same as the ones you have. Therefore, leave aside the email, that the world will continue to turn.
I suggest you reduce visits to the inbox to 2 or 3 times a day maximum. Try, as for the use of social networks, to assign certain periods and limited time.
For example, half an hour in the morning, half an hour after eating and half an hour at the end of the work day.
On the other hand, you will surely know what to do with many of the emails that you have with a simple glance. Many will go directly to the bin, others will be merely informative, and you can save them in the corresponding folder, and others will need a response.
Make a first visual cleaning before going one by one. By doing this, you will be released several hours a week.
4. Practice multitasking
Being productive does not mean doing more things during the day, if not doing more in less time.
Many people think that it is a virtue or a great ability to be able to do several things at the same time. However, it is a big mistake.
The brain is not designed to do several things at the same time. What happens in those cases, are changes of context. These changes need a period to adapt.
Imagine you are writing an article. You leave it halfway because you’ve seen a tutorial of a new tool. Then you stop to answer some emails.
What’s going on? You have started three things, and you have finished none. And the worst is that you will waste time remembering the point where you left each of them.
Therefore, it is very important to focus on only one thing at a time. The sooner you have it, the sooner you can start to get results.
If you work in an office with more people, I’m sure that what I’m going to tell you sounds good.
A partner comes along and starts asking you about anything while you’re focused on something, or constant phone calls for any small problems, etc.
These interruptions cause a stop in our very damaging work approach. At the time of resuming the task we were doing, we will have to rethink at what point we were.
In this case, you have to learn to say NO in an assertive way. Differentiate what is important from what is urgent, so that you do not focus on the problems of others only.
Good time management is undoubtedly what will bring you closer to professional success without stress. Feeling that time is not lacking is the best feeling not to end the day exhausted and with a feeling of not having advanced anything.