“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.”
― Leo Babauta
This is one of the most important question to ask yourself each night before you go to bed. Was I really productive or just busy today? Truth is that you may not really be happy with what you discover. For me for the longest time, I thought I was being productive, but all I was just busy. So now what exactly is the difference between being productive and being busy?
How do you feel during the day and at the end of the day? Do you feel like you have not achieved anything or you have not done something that makes you happy? Chances are you were just busy.
Do you find yourself mostly unmotivated to do things or very tired after a few activities? If your answer is yes, you were most likely just busy and not productive.
For me the main difference between being busy and productive are two simple distinct factors. To be productive, you “do things you love on time.” Now I understand that life is not composed of things we love doing, but doing them with love makes everything easier.
Being productive has so many advantages, and for the longest time I have been a strong advocate of being productive, because I believe it brings us a step closer to living a life of purpose.
So I have come up with a list that has helped me be a better productive person.
Have a Planner
This cannot be overemphasized. Now I started with the traditional planners but that never really worked for me. So what I use now is a plain notebook, to write in bullet points my meetings and to do lists. So far that has been working for me. There are different planners that suit different styles.
Wake Up Early
This really helps set the pace of your day. Waking up early really gives you more time to do things with your day. Now the key is to wake up early and do something productive. So I like meditating and praying after I wake up.There is so much you can do when you wake up early. You can make your bed, exercise or cook. It really depends on you.
To Do List
One of my favorite productive tips is writing a to do list. This helps you narrow down what is important to you and also helps you prioritize. Another thing I have learnt is to keep your to do lists short and precise. Only put down things you know you plan on doing today. Putting down a lot of items often makes it confusing and overwhelming.
One mistake most people including me make when it comes to do lists is not setting deadlines for them. Having an open list without deadlines leaves room for laziness and procrastination. So when next you write a to do list, put down beside it when you want the goals achieved.
Take Sometime to Relax
Life can be very tedious and stressful, so it helps a lot to take sometime to relax. Have time during the day to appreciate the little things in life and be grateful. You can do this by taking a walk during your break, listening to calming music or just simply calling a loved one. At the end of the day you will be grateful you did.
It is so easy to be stressed by life and all its adventures and misadventures. What is important is that you do not let circumstances control your life, but you need take control of your life from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Take control of your life and live the desired productive life you have always dreamed of.