Sometimes, we get really carried away by the hustle and bustle of our environment that we forget to check if we are actually making something good out of our busy schedules.
Like one author put it, “We have been so submerged in the transient sensation of vigorous action that we sometimes fail to take the stocks of our lives.” In this clime, we all leave in the morning and come back late, but it’s what we do during those hours that matters most.
Bob Dylan said, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between, he does what he wants to do.” Are you doing what you want to do? Or are you not?
Someone tweeted a while back that in Lagos, if you are not careful, you’ll be going for endless meetings and at the end of the day have nothing to show for it.
I have friends who can attend meetings for Africa, they are constantly in one meeting or the other, yet, they are still clawing at the ladder.
Life is too short to engage in unprofitable labour, do things that will bring results by following the guidelines I have carefully outlined here:
• Do one thing at a time – People that juggle different activities together or at the same time often do not achieve any meaningful results. If your attention is divided between several things, you will find it difficult to maintain focus.
Instead, finish each tasks in sequence before jumping to the next one, doing multiple things at a time only makes them half way done and when you eventually finish them, you would have spent more time than you would if you had done it one at a time.
• Create goals and set targets – If you don’t have a dream, then you don’t need to read this part, setting goals cannot be overemphasized.
When I first started my blog, I posted randomly, I even had a one year break, where I didn’t come to post anything. I didn’t have plans for posting.
Along the line, I began to arrange my write-ups and posted them once in a month. Few months ago, I realized that I needed a blog plan, I couldn’t just begin to crack my head on the day I need to post, so I set up a plan and arrange my contents in a journal.
Now it’s easier for me to post weekly. So I realized the essence of setting goals for my blog, you too can do that. Plan, don’t just work aimlessly.
• Become a morning person – A morning person is someone who gets up early to start the day. Morning offers several benefits that cannot be gotten during the day.
As a morning person, you automatically have more mental energy in the mornings when you awake, you can adequately begin work and be productive, you can willfully filter out all those things that don’t matter.
• Quit bad habits and start good ones – If you instinctively switch on the TV immediately you get back from work, you have a bad habit.
Bad habits interfere with your daily routine and they have a way of shifting your focus from what matters to what is unnecessary.
Deliberately stop those habits and start new good ones, it might be difficult at first, but remember, it becomes an habit once it is uninterruptedly practiced for 30 days, if it proves difficult, remember, the alternative is unproductivity.
• Do things in moderation – For most people, this can be a challenge, addiction to certain things make you do them excessively. No matter how worthy it is, there is time for everything.
Set rules and guidelines to follow if you want to break an addiction. For example, a person who is addicted to playing games can set specific time when he should play, this way, you can easily break the addiction but still be doing that which you love.
It might be difficult, but think about the benefits, productivity. Overdoing things make you lose focus.
• Reduce time spent on Social media – Believe me, there are so many awesome apps on our smartphones that can easily alter our concentration.
Just opening the notification on twitter alone, before you know it you’re on facebook, then instagram, next thing, you’re adding filters to your videos on snap chat, you’re critically arguing in a group on whatsapp and you’re subscribing to newsletters on your emails.
By the time you become aware of how far you’ve gone, you would have spent three hours. What I do is that, I don’t switch on my phone until the task for the morning is done, when I’m ready for the next, I put my phone in airplane mode and keep it far away from me.
Trust me, this really helps.
• You don’t have to be a perfectionist – In one of my blog posts, I extensively dealt with this. You do not have to be a perfectionist, just because you focus on one task at a time doesn’t mean you should spend the whole day, know how to be efficient and fast at the same time.
No one wants a masterpiece, just get the job done. This statement doesn’t mean it’s okay to make substandard things, it’s just for you to know efficiency and effectiveness.
I have a friend who is a male wear designer, he spends one full hour setting the fabric on the table, two hours to cut a piece out and then when he’s through with the clothes 3 days later, he spends another 4 hours ironing.
He hasn’t really mastered speed, he only cares about making a master piece. His clients give him hell.
• Get organized – This is me having a plank in my eye and removing the speck in yours, I am certainly not organized, at least I wasn’t, I am now.
My books spend the night on my bed, my work clothes for the next day do not get ironed till the next day, my blog posts for the week is still in the wind, I can keep counting.
Until I found out that it was killing my productivity, I didn’t really see anything wrong with it.
• Eat healthy and exercise – I do not need to write an epistle on this, you all know that the brain needs to be nourished just as much as the body. Healthy foods and exercise can do justice to that.
• Learn to say no – People are really smart, they do all they can to avoid burn out so they will like to dump their workload on you.
Politely say no, you don’t have to get them to like you, like yourself. Don’t let anyone wear you out with their own loads, refuse to do anything that won’t add an advantage to both your life and the other person’s.
I hope I have been able to do justice to this topic. There are really different ways to get results and as usual, pick what works for you and adopt it.