“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” Peter Drucker
The best way to avoid forcing yourself to work is to make your work a routine.
I’ve come to realize that the more you feel free carrying out a particular task, the easier it is for you to get a result. Before I used to force myself to do a lot of work to achieve productivity but each time, I get a low result.
One reason why people don’t achieve productivity is that their to-do list is filled with too many trivial things.
The moment I reduced my to-do list from everything to important things alone, my productivity increased. And When you have clarity on what’s important for you, doing them becomes automatically easy.
In his book, The one thing Gary Keller talks about the power of doing one thing at a time.
One goal at a time.
One task at a time.
One step at a time.
If you are the type who finds it difficult to achieve productivity, try following the one thing practice and see where it leads you to.
Understand that the best way to be productive without forcing yourself to work is to start leveraging the power of concentration and focus to get more done with less effort.
Concentration + Focus = Productivity.
And here’s how you can achieve it without forcing yourself.
Make your task small
The problem we have is we want to start a big task and finish it once.
But the thing is by putting consistency ahead of intensity, you will be more productive.
The goal is to set up a system that will make you show up consistently to your work by accumulating the small wins. And success, as you know, is a result of the accumulation of small wins compounded over time.
When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. GO SMALL writes Gary Keller.
Small changes in how you work can gradually add up to big changes in productivity. Try one tip to start, and keep adding more as you find the strategies that work best for you.
Writing 200 words daily will give 73000 words in a year. That’s enough to be a book.
The basis is to trust the small increment.
Do your important task when your willpower is at the highest.
Think of willpower as a muscle. It’s something that you can flex and relax as you need to, strengthen with training, and lose if you don’t use it enough. And, like a muscle, willpower tires when you use it repetitively throughout the day.
Being strategic with your willpower is how you achieve maximum productivity. Because at its core, willpower is your ability to get things done.
It determines how easy it is for you to start working, resist junk food, or go to the gym, and thus is instrumental to success in every area of life.
It’s always best to do your most important task when your will power is high.
Writing is one of the most important tasks on my schedule and that’s why I only write in the morning when am less stressed or burned out. If I decide to write any other time of the day other than the morning, I don’t get the best result compared to when I write in the morning.
Find out your most important task and do it when your willpower is high.
Understand that when it comes to will power, timing is everything.
“Willpower isn’t something that gets handed out to some and not to others. It is a skill you can develop through understanding and practice.” Gillian Riley
Cut out distractions
One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us. Daniel Goleman
Eliminating distraction to achieve productivity is one of the best ways to enter flow states.
And according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow, flow is “the optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.”
If something breaks your concentration, know that it could take up to 20 minutes to regain it. Which is why you must eliminate distractions when working.
The best way I try not to distract myself while working is to switch off all my phone notification.
You can give your self a break of 5 to 10 minute whenever you feel there is a need to slow down or relax from work. But once you are working, stay off your phone or anything that can distract you.
Whatever is distracting you, eliminate or mitigate it before you start to work.
Singular focus is how you get things done.
Multi-tasking creates divided attention and in turn, allow us to lose focus.
The problem is one can multitask while at work but you can’t focus on the two at the same time.
In fact, studies have found that multitasking reduces your productivity by 40%.
If you’re convinced that multitasking makes you super-productive, you’re super wrong writes Julie Neidlinger. It just means you backtrack a lot, because every time you switch tasks, you have to repeat a bit to find out where you last left off. How many times have you had to re-read your blog post drafts because you can’t remember what you wrote since your last attempt?
Productivity that leads to success is about doing the right thing not about doing everything right.
The key takeaway is this: You can be productive without forcing yourself to work as long as you set the system right for yourself. Find a way to batch your task or make your task small, do important stuff when your will power is at its highest, eliminate distractions and avoid multitasking and you are on your way to being productive.