7 Way to Increase Your Productivity... and Happiness!
Dec 23, 2020
Every morning I jot down a few things that made me happy from the previous day in my Happiness Journal. Since I’ve been doing that for a few years now, it’s interesting to me to see a few themes pop up; one of them being that I often write down the things I accomplished as something that made me happy. I am living proof that being productive CAN make you happier!
How you make your way through an average day in terms of your productivity may determine how pleased with life you are.
That got me thinking (danger…danger…) about ways to be happier, particularly in this happy season at the end of a very strange year.
To help you be happier consider these gems when deciding whether to do something productive or avoid it:
- Ponder your feelings. Reflect on your emotions after doing something productive versus wasting a few hours channel-surfing or just hanging out. Think about which situation makes you feel more positive and content. Don’t get me wrong, down time is important! But when down time starts to make you feel guilty, you probably are moving from an activity being recreation to wreck-creation! A couple of hours of your favorite show is restorative, a couple of seasons of your favorite show is probably avoidance.
- How are your organizational skills? Someone who’s organized usually finds it easier to accomplish desired goals. If you’re organized, you know where to find the correct tool quickly to put it to use. How much time do you waste trying to locate things? All that searching reduces your productivity. And this relates to storing all your digital information as well; if you can’t find it within a few seconds on your computer, you are losing productive time.
- Make lists if you want to get things done. A to-do list will quickly remind you of what you hope to complete. Plus, crossing items off that list brings positive feelings of satisfaction and I do love to cross things off my list! If I’m feeling particularly distracted, I will create a separate sticky note with my Most Important Things on them. I post them in a conspicuous place and as I accomplish them, I take the note down, crumple it up and throw it away. So satisfying!
- Complete tasks in the morning when you’re rested. What’s cool about getting started early is that you can see signs of your productivity by noon. You may be tired, but having lunch will revive you for the afternoon, plus you’ll feel accomplished. If the rest of the day is completely derailed, at least you have done a productive thing or two early so the WHOLE day isn’t a waste.
Establish a pattern of knocking out a couple of items on your to-do list in the morning.
- Have a schedule and follow it. If you want to be productive, schedule in time for work and rest. This has become so important in 2020 as so many of us are working from home! It’s hard to set a boundary around work when your commute is 4 seconds.
- Let’s say it’s the end of the day, you’ve met your productivity goals and still have some play time. Your confidence increases from your higher productivity level. Plus, your level of contentment has grown because you experienced some free time, too. That’s two reasons to be happy!
If you’re floundering to get something done, set up a time to do it.
- Let’s say you’ve wanted to clean out the garage for ages, but you’ve consistently come up with excuses why you’ve not yet done it. Establish a day and time you’ll devote to garage-cleaning, like Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. Then do it.
- Develop rituals and routines to help you separate down time from productive time. Maybe it’s something simple like putting on your watch when you want to get work done. Or donning nicer clothing when you wish to be productive. Maybe you put on your “house pants” when you’re preparing to lounge around. We’ve lost the triggers of the commute, for the most part, so create new triggers.
Simple behaviors can serve as powerful reminders that it’s time to work or play.
- Pay close attention to how you speak to yourself. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to your very best friend. When you complete a task, do you say something to yourself like, “Good job” or “Wow, you completed that quickly” or “Way to go”? Or do you spoil it by saying things like, “What took you so long” or “It’s about time”?
- It’s helpful to take note of what you say to yourself during moments you choose to waste away, too. Perhaps you’re telling yourself, “I hate doing X” or “I’m avoiding doing Y as long as I can.”
What you say to yourself is powerful and sets the tone for how you’ll proceed. Avoid using negative phrasing to increase productivity and happiness.
What have you done today?
What did you achieve yesterday?
Do you take on a can-do spirit when you’re challenged? Or are you huddled up in your comfy chair deeply immersed in a movie or playing a game on your electronic device to avoid the challenge?
Your choice to get things done very much plays into your level of happiness. Concentrate on increasing task completion. You’ll be happy you did!
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: The upside of being unproductive is that it allows you to have a very neat desk!
If you're struggling for something to add to your to-do list, allow me to make a suggestion! I just published "Finding Inbox Bliss," a totally FREE guide to get you started on downsizing your inbox and upping your productivity in a BIG way. You can get it here!