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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 October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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