4 Simple Steps to a More Productive Mindset
Productivity is something we all strive for. Being the best we can be, showing up, being authentic and getting the most out of the time we have. But what happens when our day is affected by unforeseen external factors. Or we're off mentally? What happens when our routine is disrupted and our intentions to get things done are ruined?
With just a little forethought, here are four ways to set yourself up to achieve more and ultimately build a better mindset into your daily routine:
1. Always be ready.
Meetings get canceled. Friends run late. Plans have to be rescheduled on a whim. When time like this opens up in our schedule, we suddenly have time in our day we didn’t have before. Instead of wasting this time being upset or feeling let down, use this time for good. See it as a gift instead of a waste. “Found” time can be used to do things like writing a “thank you” or “I noticed” card, sharing appreciation with someone you work with. You also could use that time to update your “to-do” list.You can even read a chapter of that book, or make some calls that you’ve been putting off.
When you let go of what you can’t control and look at what you can control, you'll take a huge step in getting your day back on track.
2. Slow down.
Inhale. Exhale. But don’t forget to inhale again.
Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s happening in the moment we forget to breathe. When unanticipated situations crop up, stress is a natural reaction. Remembering to breathe deeply can calm the hectic moments and allow you to re-focus on where you want this day to go. This reflective pause helps us experience improved concentration and an increase in energy. Relaxed bodies also have greater self-confidence -- just what you need when things seem to be spinning out of control.
Pause. Reflect. Refocus.
3. Be present.
“Do this. Do that. Don’t forget to get that..and don’t forget the milk!”
The constant to do/reminder list running through our minds everyday keep us living in the future, while memories, good and bad, keep us living in the past. When we are constantly in the future or in the past we miss out on the beauty of the present. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who didn’t seem to be taking in what you were saying? Maybe they were daydreaming or uninterested, but more times than not, they were thinking about something futuristically or remembering something that happened in the past, maybe even within the hour.
Regardless of what was keeping them from focusing on your conversation, I bet it didn’t feel great to be on the receiving side of their absent mindedness. Don’t be that person. Be present. Fully engage in whatever you are doing to assure your best work and quality productivity.
If you want to experience the best, you have to be your best. And this means taking care of you. We have all had someone tell us we need to get enough sleep each night and that we should never skip breakfast right? But what about the 24 hours in between all that? In an effort to create a more productive mindset for ourselves, we must learn to check into ourselves throughout the day.
Do you need some caffeine? Do you need to get up and dance or do some jumping jacks to get the blood flowing? Do you need some fresh air? Getting to experience what your body is yearning for can make a real difference. Rejuvenating is not only good for your productivity, but is good for the soul.
Being productive means we are doing what we said we would do, in the time we promised. Check your routines and build a mindset to get more done, and you’ll achieve more every day.
Jason W. Womack is the CEO of The Womack Company, an international training firm that helps busy professionals be more productive through coaching and consulting. He is co-founder of the Get Momentum Leadership Academy, author of Your Best Just Got Better (Wiley, 2012) and co-author with his wife, Jodi Womack, of Get Momentum: How To Start When You’re Stuck (Wiley, 2016). Since 2000 he has coached leaders across industries and trained them in the art of increasing their workplace productivity and achieving personal happiness.