Before you can be truly productive, you have to know what you mean by the word. It could be that what is holding you back from being truly productive is that you are working off of someone else’s definition of the concept. Maximizing your productivity is about actuating your best self. There are many different types and levels of productivity. It can be easily mistaken for something else. Some confuse being busy with being productive. You can work all day and be exhausted at night and still manage to get nothing done. That is not very productive.
Running on a treadmill is still running. But it doesn’t get you anywhere. If your goal is just to get a lot of movement, mission accomplished. If you were trying to get from point A to point B, you wasted your time. As you can see, it is important to identify what you mean by productivity. And be as precise as possible.
That precision needs to carry over into other aspects beyond the definition. Timing is also an important consideration. You have just written your three-thousandth word of your novel. That sounds like productivity. But you just reached that milestone after a month of writing. That is closer to what you should have accomplished in a day. You can do a better job at unlocking your productivity by being better prepared in the following ways:
You can be a more productive student by getting better at studying. The problem for many people is that they have no idea how to study in a way that produces the required result. They pour a lot of effort and frustration into studying and end up knowing less than before they started.
Whether your study is for academic or other pursuits, you will benefit from better study prep. Some people know the information but freeze up when it comes to taking tests. That is where realistic practice exams can make a big difference.
Study prep is not just about practice tests and cue cards. It is about getting yourself in the right headspace for study. You might have to set aside distractions like your smartphone. Put it on Do Not Disturb and walk away from social media for the next two hours. Let another responsible adult look after the kids and the dog while you study. Set yourself up for success before you even crack open a book.
Sleep is vital for productivity. But you don’t get that sleep just by lying down and wishing it were so. You don’t just need 8 hours of downtime. You need a certain number of hours of sleep. 8 hours is a generalization. Your magic number might be a little different. Tossing and turning in bed is not sleep, or even rest. You would be much better off getting 5 hours of actual sleep than 8 hours struggling to sleep.
For more productive sleep, you need to prepare for sleep. Some achieve benefit from changing out of your work clothes into night attire an hour or two before going to bed. It helps put them in a different frame of mind. Stop pumping yourself full of caffeine, sugar, and liquids a couple of hours before bedtime. Keep a book by the bed and read half a chapter of a novel to get yourself tired. And do your bedtime routine at the same time every night. Better sleep preparation will get you more productive sleep.
Productive Family Time
Many families feel distant even when living in the same house. That is because they don’t have any plan or preparation for the time they spend together. However, quality family time doesn’t just happen automatically any more than quality study time or quality sleep. It takes preparation. You have to think about the things you like to do as a family and schedule that time as if you were scheduling a very important work meeting. Planning and preparing for family times does not make it any less special. It just makes it less hit or miss.
If you want to be more productive, you have to prepare for it. With the right preparation, you can achieve more productive study, more productive sleep, and more productive family time.