A recent in-app survey covering over 1M users of different ages with millennials as the core group shows that people from the US, UK, and Australia share a top self-development goal. While the second and third priority aims were divided between having more money, a healthy body, and an overall feeling of happiness, the main response was being productive.
So how to improve it? That could be a tricky question in today’s hustle culture. Though a drop in productivity usually causes stress, chasing it too hard can be even more emotionally draining.
Genuine productivity means that you are moving in ways that best benefit your life, making choices and decisions that best honor and support where you currently are and who you currently are. Learning to embrace my journey and accept the pace I’m moving at has brought me more peace and happiness than quick accomplishments ever could.
Self-Care Coach, the US
To master sustainable productivity, you need to start with figuring out what things in life are productive for you, specifically, and which are harmful.
Many of us were taught that the more you do, the better. And we are used to thinking that productivity is the key to achieving this. But in reality, being productive means being efficient. Enhance the quality of what you do, and therefore you will achieve more in less time instead of just doing more.
Mindset Coach, the UK
After all, when we are trying to do a good job, run errands and do household chores, pick up kids from school, spend time with our partner, and also have hobbies, we will end up exhausted, eventually.
Another enemy of genuine productivity is so-called cheap dopamine. It’s not easy to feel motivated and inspired to be productive when you have so many distractions like watching television or scrolling through social media. Finding a happy balance between productivity and rest is definitely important.
Lifestyle Blogger, Australia
The same approach works for our job performance. That’s why prioritizing things, focusing on what’s truly important, and skipping the minors are better than having a lot on your plate without being able to nail it.
I’ve been practicing being honest with myself and stepping back in different situations. The idea is saying “No yes. Either HELL YEAH! or no” as a writer and programmer Derek Sivers recommends. It’s not easy, especially at the beginning, but useful: it helps me not to waste time on things I don’t want or need.
Founder and CEO of Headway, Productivity Expert
So, instead of diving head first into hustle or falling into the trap of procrastination, it’s better to go deep inside and realize what is best for your efficiency, mental state, and well-being. All that leads to better work-life balance and more self-care habits.
How to improve your productivity: 5 habits of life-long learners
- Ask yourself one focusing question every day, do less, but do essential things
- Productivity comes from consistency, so make a plan and keep your commitments to yourself.
- Keep track of your tasks by visualizing your day, week, and month on the calendar or to-do list.
- Schedule break times throughout your day to relax, switch your attention and go back to your tasks with fresh thoughts.
- Try giving yourself two deadlines — an early one and a realistic one.