Things You Can Do To Be More Productive

Dayana Sabatin
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

You and I both know the only way we’re going to live the life we want to live is by achieving our goals.

The only way to achieve our goals is to get things done — daily and consistently. You have the opportunity to thrive in this life, and instead of letting it go to waste, you need to take advantage of whatever time is available to you and utilize it to the best of your ability.

I get it; being productive is hard. Summer is coming around; you’re tempted to go out every night, see your friends, spend time with your significant other, maybe go travel. We all have our needs.

However, if you put in the work now while everyone else is going out and letting time pass by, you’ll be able to have the freedom to truly enjoy your life without the limitations that some people have.

For example, my partner and I almost never go out during the week. Not because of financial reasons, but because we’re both busy grinding.

But, whenever we do go on vacations, our budgets aren’t limited, we’re not worried about leaving unfinished work, and we’re able to truly detach in order to have a good time.

I like to think of it this way, make the necessary sacrifices now so you could thoroughly enjoy yourself later without having regrets over what you could have and should have done instead.

With that being said, here are a few things I’m avoiding in order to stay focused and productive with my time.

Negative influences.

You never really know someone is a negative influence on you until you get put into a crappy situation.

For instance, a few weeks ago I decided to go out with one of my oldest friends. We rarely hang out, despite the fact that she moved to the state I live in to be closer to me.

I’m a firm believer that you are who you spend your time with, and while you can be an amazing and kind person, if you don’t offer any actual value to a relationship other than drama, what’s the point of being friends?

If you want to have a happy and thriving life, you need to surround yourself with happy and thriving individuals. They’re the ones who will raise your energy, as opposed to the people who constantly complain and drain your energy.

You know when you spend time with someone, and they instantly make you feel inspired? It’s the way they carry themselves. Their confidence. They focus on you, they have this vibrance that instantly makes you want to be around them all the time.

Those are the types of people you should be spending your time with, not the ones who make you feel less energized and more frustrated with life after you spend a night out with them.

This might mean you have to cut some people out of your life that you really care about, but what’s more important? Your state of mind or a friendship that affects you negatively more than half the time?

Negative people revel in stagnation and negative thinking. And despite how often they say, I want to do X; I’m going to start this business, I’m going to become this, they never do it.

Because they’re incapable of following through and achieving their goals, they’ll discourage you from doing the same.

The only way for you to move forward and make progress is to surround yourself with people who are also striving to make progress and achieve their goals.

Not taking care of yourself.

Self-care is so important.

I’m not talking about treating yourself to some cookies and face masks at night; I mean the real self-care that’s not always easy to do, like working out, getting good quality sleep, eating healthy and wholesome foods.

That type of self-care.

I used to be someone who would wake up at 5 am to start working and go through the day without giving myself a second thought. Tired? Oh well. Losing focus? That’s ok, keep going. Need to stay up late to finish this? Do it.

I’m all for pushing yourself, but if you’re constantly putting yourself last and everything else first — you’re only going to decline, and your work won’t be as good as it could be.

A study found that workers who reported insomnia or insufficient sleep spent three times as long on time management throughout the day as workers who reported quality sleep. The sleep-deprived workers reported difficulties with motivation, focus, memory, and decision-making as well.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to get more quality sleep.

To add to that, don’t omit taking care of your body. Getting movement every day, working out, and doing things that make your body feel good.

When you exercise and move your body, you develop more mitochondria, which inevitably leads to you having more energy. This means the more energy your brain has to use, the sharper your decision-making skills will be, you’ll stay more focused, and you’ll get things done more efficiently.

I’m someone who never skips out a workout, but over-training yourself can be harmful too. Instead, I started sprinkling in hot yoga sessions to relax and give my body a break from weight training.

I’ve never felt better or more rejuvenated.

Not focusing on your priorities.

There’s a massive difference between productivity and being busy.

You can spend the whole day doing things that are “important,” but they don’t really help you make progress within yourself or your business.

For example, I spent the whole day deep cleaning my house yesterday. Was it important? Yes, living in a clean environment helps me stay focused. Could it have waited to be done later in the day? Or over the weekend? Absolutely.

Often I leave important tasks like editing a YouTube video or writing for last because I think to myself, well, those two things make me really happy, so I’ll still want to do them by the time I get to them.

However, the problem with that is when you get to the most important things, you won’t have any energy. Other things will most likely come up.

You’ll feel tired from deep cleaning your whole house or shopping all day or whatever it is that you thought was more urgent that day.

Rank your daily tasks in order of importance and start your day with the most important.

Not only will it make you feel significantly more accomplished, but the day will feel significantly more smooth when you’re not rushing to get to what should have been done already.

These are 3 things I’m avoiding in order to stay more focused. To reiterate,

I know cutting people out from your life who mean a lot to you but don’t provide you with any value is hard, and if that’s the case simply try limiting your time with them.

Taking care of yourself is hard — especially when you’ve got a lot on your plate already. Start small, focus on getting quality sleep and light movement, then do more as it gets easier.

Finally, focus on your priorities. I know it sounds simple but we let the little things get in the way of what truly matters, myself included which is why I’m going to start placing such a huge focus on what needs to get done first and then moving on to whatever needs my attention later.

Good luck, and I hope this helps you focus on what truly matters.

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Freelance writer sharing thoughts on self-improvement, productivity, and success.

Santa Monica, CA

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