We are all chasing this productive, efficient lifestyle. We want it all, and we want it done today. Maybe it’s the way society has programmed us, or maybe it’s just that we have more to do nowadays. Whatever it is that pressures us, I know
ONE // No More Mindlessly Scrolling
This is something that I’ve recently realized is so much more toxic than I ever thought. This is the equivalent of eating 6 candy bars and a big mac, but instead of poisoning your stomach is poisons your mind. Scrolling through social media distracts you from your goals, and forces you to compare yourself to others. While you’re sitting in your underwear on Instagram, someone else may be on vacation or getting married. So what? This happened before social media and you never knew about, so it didn’t bother you. Stop thinking about all of the things you could be doing, and start doing what you can with what you have! It’s what the most successful people do and it’s what you should be doing to. Cut your time comparing and spend all the excess time getting shit done.
A QUICK FIX TIP: Turn to Pinterest if you find yourself unable to stop the scrolling right away. I don’t feel the kind of comparison pressure from Pinterest, I feel inspired by possibility. Pinterest doesn’t tie an identity or a timeline to it’s posts, so for me I feel like it’s a healthier alternative. Still, everything in moderation and do what feels right FOR YOU. I can’t stress that enough.
TWO // Stop Thinking About The End Goal
I’m a huge podcast girl, and this morning I was absolutely struck by something Michael Bosstick of The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast said, “Stop thinking about your goals from ‘A to Z’ and start thinking about your goals from ‘A to B'”. I’ve really been seeing this as a recurring theme in my life lately. I get overwhelmed easily when thinking about my goals for the future. My boyfriend recently told me to write down the most attainable steps to my goals that I can do right now. That has altered my thinking in so many ways. Write down (don’t type!) each step you need to take to reach a goal. Do those things, check them off, and reevaluate. Do not get stuck on the big picture, but don’t forget about it either.
QUICK FIX TIP: (This was also inspired by Stephen, he’s way better than me at not getting lost in the “planning” of it all): If you find yourself thinking too much about the future, take a page in your notebook and write down your massively insane long term goals. Pour everything into the page and then don’t look at them again. Next write down you A to B goals and make those your course of action. How can you reach a goal if you don’t have steps to get there?
THREE // Don’t Just Fill Your Body, Fuel Your Body
Listening to my body is currently my #1 goal in progress. If you get rid of all of the other crap you think about while eating like cravings or calories, you’re left with what your body needs. For example, I noticed that I absolutely love eating pizza, or Chipotle. And I by no means have cut these things out, but I’ve started to become more and more obsessed with the feeling I get after I eat a big spinach salad with chicken. My whole day is more productive, my mind is more clear, and if I eat this regularly I appreciate that little pizza or Chipotle break even more, and don’t feel bad about. I’ve also started craving the bad things less because I let myself have them. It’s not black and white it’s balance, and that extra space in my mind that used to be full of food is now filled with ideas of how to meet my goals.
QUICK FIX TIP: Prepare your meals, even if it’s just in your mind. I try to balance it out, toast for breakfast salad for lunch and pasta for dinner. Or oatmeal for breakfast, heartier lunch (wrap or sandwich), and balanced dinner. I’m not the healthiest eater I’ll be the first to admit, but I am learning how to do what feels best for my body and I think that’s an important lesson.
FOUR // Take a Break!
This is the easiest to say and the hardest to do. And arguably the most contradictory. Who would’ve thought that to be more productive you have to do less? Well, it’s so true. The more you’re trying to cram into a day the more laser focus you need. If you aren’t 100% focused you lose time all together. Stop losing time and gain a break to refresh, and then complete your tasks quicker than ever. My favorite way to take a break is workouts, talking to friends, and listening to podcasts. I also love reality tv (where are my Bachelor fans at) – woops!
QUICK FIX TIP: Find something that zones you out. Whether it’s trash tv or zenning out to music, it helps to really take time to do something completely unrelated to the tasks you usually complete during the day that you consider “work”.
FIVE // Thinking in ‘Negatives’ Instead of ‘Positives’
One of the most important things I’ve realized is that everything is my fault. I can’t say it any better than it was said in this podcast (less than 5 minutes and worth a listen), but honestly it’s so true. Stop blaming, stop using negatives, and start recognizing that you are a reflection of everything you think and do. EXAMPLE: “I can’t finish this project because my partner won’t do their share.” CHANGED TO “I will work as hard as I can to get this project to completion and so will everyone else around me.” And if things don’t work out the way you want? Well honestly, that was never in your control anyways. You waste so much time worrying about things that never happen, and stressing about things out of your control. Don’t let these stupid things take away your precious time!
QUICK FIX TIP: Let’s be honest, I’d love to give you a quick fix here but this is more about changing your thought process. And to change your thought process, it takes time. So keep consciously being aware of your thoughts and words every day. Change them slowly, and know that progress is never perfect, but it’s still progress.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I’d love to hear any productivity tips you have that you swear by down below in the comments!