Are you productive?
Time is the largest currency. Everyone has an equal amount and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
Are you using your time effectively? According to a study based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most people are only productive for about 3 hours a day. Alarming or not, we can all benefit from improving our daily productivity. Even Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has made a clear stance on the importance of productivity.
So how can you tell if you’re productive? Not just busy, but really productive to meet goals or deadlines? Here is a checklist that may be helpful.
1. Did you wake up before 9 am today?
With only 24 hours a day, it is clear that those who are awake more will have more time. If you’ve read my post on being a nightingale, owl, or hummingbird, you might be a little apprehensive about this concept of waking up before 9am. While it’s certainly possible to get a lot of work done at night, mornings are when most businesses are open and many (not all, but many) industry experts are pitching negotiations and decision. To make it easier to wake up earlier, prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep with the right mattress and a comfortable mattress pad. Want to be more productive with your time? Wake up and move!
2. Have you replenished your body today?
Studies have shown that people who regularly exercise or engage in healthy habits perform at high levels. In the words of Tony Robbins, movement creates emotion, which is another way of saying that how you treat your body affects how your mind feels throughout the day. If you’re tired, you may not perform at the level of productivity you could have. Did you make time to exercise, eat healthy or at least avoid junk food today? To be productive, you need to have work energy!
3. Do you have a clear to-do list for today?
Productivity often involves completing multiple tasks each day. If you don’t have a well-defined to-do list, you may find yourself forgetting things. The budget forecast you’re supposed to send out at 3 p.m. may disappoint you, but it certainly won’t bother your boss – and they’ll be the first to remind you! I like to keep a to-do list on my phone, even just in a note-taking app, where I add and remove tasks that need to be completed every day. Not having a clear to-do list will also lead to stress and feelings of being overwhelmed, which can greatly reduce your productivity.
4. Have you taken the initiative to take action?
The biggest barrier to getting work done is getting started. When you’re productive, you don’t simply answer conversations, you need to excite them. Understand that the work you do today will determine your success tomorrow. Instead of waiting for a response from the customer, why not take the first step and start the conversation? Of course you have to be sensitive to the dynamics of a situation, but overall, thinking ahead and taking action will greatly improve your productivity. Proactively taking steps forward also builds perseverance!
5. Are you working better than yesterday?
The mindset behind productivity is one of continuous improvement. We become productive to get more done, always fulfill our responsibilities and reach our goals faster. Ask yourself, are you performing better today than yesterday? If not, you have a chance to be more productive today. This development process is important to both our professional and personal lives, which I have written about in more detail here.
Being more productive means getting more done in a shorter amount of time, while maintaining quality work. Whether it’s your job, your relationship, or a passion project, becoming more productive will dramatically improve the quality of life for you and those around you.
Aleksey Weyman is a business entrepreneur, writer/blogger and music artist based in Seattle, WA. Visit him on Twitter or LinkedIn.