Can you work a little less but still stay productive and achieve your goals?
When we think about productivity, we think about time management techniques, increasing motivation and finding ways to work faster in order to do more.
To make these strategies work long-term you must work on internal motivation and prioritise the most important things. And that requires mental strength.
Here are some psychological tricks to increase productivity, drive and creativity.
Productivity is not measured by how much time you put it.
Try tracking your activities for an entire work week. Create a diary and write down what you do every 15 minutes. You might be shocked to know that you are doing many things that are less important, but are contributing to your stress levels.
By eliminating those unimportant tasks in your daily routine, you can downsize your 40 hours of work to maybe 10 very productive hours, which means you can then add little things as necessary.
Focus on what you CAN do.
Too often, we get stressed a lot by thinking about the things we don’t have control of, such as looming deadlines, the possibility that the boss won’t like our work, or the thousands of competitors also working hard to get the position we may be seeking.
There are so many things that we can do nothing about. Nonetheless, there are also plenty of things that we can control, and those are the things we should focus on.
Give your time and energy working on the task at hand. The more you worry about the problems that haven’t taken place yet, the more time you waste.
Remember, a problem is not a problem until it becomes a problem.
If you think about rewarding yourself before doing a difficult task, you aren’t really giving yourself a reward. You basically are procrastinating. If you make this a habit, you are going to accomplish less.
Reward yourself for doing something great, and do it immediately. This is one good psychological trick to make your brain believe that it will reward it for completing tasks on time. Self-rewards, when done properly, are a great way to keep yourself motivated.
Strive for balance.
Doing too much and focusing on what is less important steals you of the energy and time that you could have given to your personal life. Give time for play and recreation. Schedule a downtime to recharge.
Don’t strive for perfection.
You can’t always be 100% satisfied with every task you do. Humans as we are, we all commit mistakes. We aren’t always full of ideas and creativity.
Strive for the best, but do not dwell on perfection. Leave the notion of perfection behind, and let your productivity and creativity soar!
Practise attention training.
Attention training can have significant benefits in managing anxiety and depression, increasing focus, and harnessing creativity when practised right.
Most of us feel stressed, anxious, burned out, tired or unfocused from time to time. But the ability to quickly recover from these unwanted emotions makes all the difference. Attention training aims to cultivate high levels of sustained focus.
One secret to sustained focus and drive is mindfulness – which you can cultivate through simple relaxation techniques like self-hypnosis. Awareness of the present moment keeps distraction away and heightens your creativity.
Productivity, creativity and focus are three things you may not master overnight. It’s going to take time, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.