This blog post will take a different approach by addressing four keywords that you must follow to remain productive. I began following these words and integrating them into my life. The outcomes include making it easier to complete activities, staying focused on a specific task due to me being unable to multitask, and creating a somewhat organized schedule to remain on top of everything. Since I am more efficient with my time and not slacking off on work, I found that I had more time to work on my body, speak with friends, read, and play videogames. I would truly recommend creating a “productivity mantra” with the words “choose,” “start,” “focus,” and “finish,” which I will describe in this entry.
The first word is CHOOSE. This refers to choosing a specific task or goal you want to achieve before an activity, the moment I wake up, or right before I get into bed to sleep. Do not choose general goals or vague statements that are not specific. This may encourage you to slack off as you would say, “oh, I did enough on this day; let’s complete it another day.” Choose one specific goal that is achievable but not something that will encourage you to slack off and put off to another time. For example, before I begin reading for a class or books I enjoy, I define a specific page limit before I sit down to start reading. Another goal would be to make sure I do my meditation and breathing exercises every day, which I can easily achieve and have profound benefits. I have given some previous tips on choosing goals if you need further tips in this area. But make sure the goals have an activity or finishing point in mind when you create them.
The second word is START. Most people set these goals that would make them feel accomplished, but they have difficulty starting the task and continuing to finish the task in the future. Try your best to remain motivated by understanding the benefits of these tasks and knowing how productive and happy you will feel when it is completed. When I make the goal to perform meditative practices, I know deep down how mindful, and at peace the practice makes me feel. If it is reading, I know that I will learn so much new knowledge that will make me see the world differently. If it is exercise, I remind myself of the vast amount of scientific expertise proving that some form of physical activity has significant benefits for the body. Make sure you motivate yourself to start and take the initiative to do things you know are helpful.
The third word is FOCUS. I would say this is the most prominent issue with people because they can start the activity but are distracted by many other things. The first tip I will give you is to put yourself in an environment to remove as many distractions as possible. You can sit in a quiet room, close the door, put up a sign, turn off your phone, purchase noise-canceling headphones, and clean off anything in your eyesight that could distract you. For computers, I would recommend closing off any unnecessary tabs. Next, you will want to try and immerse yourself in any activity you are in. If you find enjoying every moment of it and understand how beneficial it is for you, it will be easier. The idea is to reach a state of flow even if you only designed 20 or so minutes to complete one activity. Light, instrumental music in the background is another technique I use to remain focused on one activity. The final tip is to dedicate all your time to one task and ensure your brain remains free from all your other thoughts. Keeping 100% focus is hard, but it does not hurt to put yourself in a mindset and environment that will make it easier to focus.
The fourth word is FINISH. The word finish refers to you completing the goal you set for yourself. You have to make sure your goals are legitimate so that you can complete them. For example, if you are studying for a test that will occur in three days, your goal could be to study productively for an hour each day until the test. Applying to the same example, if the night before the test you wanted to study as hard as you can, set an appropriate goal to avoid essential things like eating and sleeping. Just make sure your goals make sense and can be completed if you give all your effort. If you did not finish and you do not have time to meet the goal, prepare some extra time in your schedule. It would be inaccurate to say that people could follow this entirely until they become experts on setting goals they know they can achieve. BUT, make sure you give it your all and try to finish every goal you make. The more you practice finishing and setting goals, the easier following these four words will be.
Productivity is something everybody wants, but I would say it is a dream world if you want to be in that state of mind the entire time. You need to give yourself time to relax and unwind and spend time with those you love because these things will help motivate you and put yourself in the best possible state to remain productive. Choose, Start, Focus, and finish are some ways I like to view the whole process. Following this productivity mantra permitted me to enhance my productivity to a whole new level. Keep in mind that it will be hard to follow them entirely, so do not break yourself down if you cannot follow them wholly. In the end, the more you try to follow these words, the better you will be, I promise.