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Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

Why do you look for tips, tricks and ideas to hack your life? Why do you test new and exciting products and theories so that you can produce at more optimum levels? Why is productivity important?

When you really think about it – I mean, really break it down – there are 10 reasons why.

Some of them work in tandem, some don’t. Some rate higher on one person’s scale than on another’s. Some are practical, some are quite silly. But all of them are reasons – and here are 10 of them:

1. You’ll do more with less of your time.

This one is at the top of the list.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to allow us to meet all of the demands we have, so by being more productive with the time we have, we can do more stuff.

To-do lists keep us moving forward, checklists track our progress and reminders and calendars serve to keep us on schedule.

But is that enough of a reason to want to be more productive? Just to do more stuff?

Speeding up doing the stuff you’ve already got on the go just so that you can do more may seem like a good move, but it depends on what the “more” is. If the “more” is the important stuff, then you’re on the right track.

If it’s just stuff, then you’re way off course.

2. You’ll do better with your time.

Putting some form of productivity system in place – a trusted one that best suits your personality – will allow you to achieve better results of the stuff you do with that time.

You’ll be on the ball more often, be able to move fluidly from task to task and not get lost nearly as much with a trusted system at your side.

The fact that you want to do better with your time means you’re stuck as-is. You know you’ve got more in you, and you’ve decided that you’d much rather to better with what you have than add more to your plate just to appear better to others.

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You can’t fool yourself or others with this strategy. This is clearly a case where less is best.

3. You’ll earn more with your time.

By being more productive (or being seen as more productive) you’ll increase your earning potential. This can be true…if you’re willing to work on this over the long term.

It also will work if you manage what you have rather than add more to what you’ve got to do. If you fail to do the latter, then you’ll be in a perpetual state of overhwhelm. And no amount of extra earnings is worth that.

Outsourcing your owrk can be one way to earn more with your time, but you need to take the time to choose wisely about what you’re going to offload. Make the wrong call, and you’ve got twice the mess to clean up.

Treat your time as a commodity and you’ll have a better chance of taking advantage of it when the chips are down.

4. You’ll have an easier time.

Some people just want to be able to relax. They want to know that everything is able to run on autopilot so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Being more productive can make life easier for you, especially if you commit to the system that will work best in keeping you on top of things.

Adopting the system won’t be easy, though. You’ll face challenges that are both external (Why do you need to capture that?) and internal (I’ll remember that…I don’t need to write it down).

If you can overcome hurdles like those then you may very well have an easier time with things going forward.

5. You’ll have time to do something different.

You hate what you’re doing, it’s not your calling. Or you want to take on a hobby that you’ve been eyeing up for awhile, but time just won’t permit it – at least not the way you’re using time now.

That’s when being more productive with your time can make the “same old, same old” turn into opportunities for new and different things.

Whether you’re pursuing a passion that you know you could make a living at or want to take up knitting, you can get there by planning your time better.

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That may mean giving up stuff that isn’t moving you closer to that new and different thing (cutting back or eliminating television, starting your day a little earlier, etc.), but it’s a big first step.

That’s how you’ll go from being more productive in general to being more productive with purpose.

And your purpose is really the best one of all. Work towards that purpose with productive use of time in mind.

6. You’ll have more time in a day.

This one is more a matter of how you handle time than actually gaining time.

We all have the same amount of time; how each of us uses it can be the difference-maker.

You may be the type of person who needs a rigorous schedule. So you do that.

You may be the type of person who can only take on one big project at a time so that you can get it done and have more time for play later. So you do that.

You may need to scale back on your current plans so that the bigger plans you have your life can stand a chance. So you do that.

The more time you’re looking for is time you already have; it’s just used in a way that doesn’t work for you. Make it work for you…because we don’t have a lot of it.

7. Time will be on your side.

Time seems to run away from you. You can’t keep up. The clock works against you and there’s nothing you’ve been able to do about that.

By being more productive with it, then it will start to play nice with you.

It won’t. Not unless you give it the respect it deserves.

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Time hates to be abused. You abuse time by wasting it or squeezing the life out of it by using every second of it in the act of doing.

Time needs a break, and so do you. So you can’t just be more productive without really looking closely at how you treat time.

Proper planning and knowing when to just let go will go a long way in making time a fast friend.

But it’s a fickle beast – and that makes it a tough friendship to maintain.

8. You’ll be able to control time better.

This is one of the silly ones, and yet people put systems and checkpoints in place so that they can try to do it. Things happen. Plans go awry. Balls get dropped. Why?

Because we’re human…and we live in a world full of humans.

Increased productivity doesn’t happen because of how you handle the moments you are in control; it happens because of how you handle the moments that you’re not.

9. You’ll free up more time.

This one works in conjunction with making things easier on yourself, but with a slight difference. Those who free up time tend to be more fulfilled than those who just want to have an easier time.

That’s because the freeing up of time presents a variety of things to do, places to go, people to see and more.

The people who want to free up time have things they want to pursue with that time. The people who want an easier time simply don’t want to do much with it other than know they’ve made their lives a little bit easier.

So, do you want to live a more fulfilled life because of increased productivity or just have “less filled” life because of increadsed productivity?

The answer separates those who want more freedom and those who want it easier.

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10. You’ll improve over time.

It seems to many of the other reasons but has a distinction about it:

It focuses more on the journey than on the destination.

How you improve over time is subjective when you aim to be more productive. It could be in work, life or elsewhere. It could be in many areas, with the focus on improvement being shifted when either the priorities shift or the mood strikes.

By looking as far ahead as possible, you put yourself in the position for major renovations in your life.

As you gain knowledge and wisdom, your productivity will improve. You may not be more efficient at things, but you’ll be more effective.

When you have this reasoning in mind, time is your friend because you’re not in a race against it. You’re working with it, alongside it for years and years.

You learn how to treat it and it learns how to treat you. There is an ebb and flow, a give and take. And the struggles and skirmishes are minor and forgotten. You don’t hold a grudge against time and it doesn’t hold one against you.

The journey is essential to the improvement, and you’ve brought along all of the right equipment (upgrading as you see fit along the way) to make sure it’s an amazing one.

Productivity is important not only to your work, but your life overall. 

Time is limited, only when you know how to manage time better will you be able to achieve more, especially to achieve the things you desire most.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

More by this author

Mike Vardy

A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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