If you feel defeated, two things will help you move forward and feel more in control. The first is to accept where you are and have compassion for yourself. When you admit to yourself, “I’m stuck. This feels awful,” and let that admission sit in your awareness without fighting it or using it to berate yourself, it loses its power to derail you. Treat yourself with compassion by recognizing your strengths, recalling challenges you’ve overcome in the past, and affirming your capacity to solve problems.
Then move forward by experimenting and reflecting. You have to check in with how your work process feels at different points throughout the day and make adjustments to improve the quality of their work experience. Being flexible helps. If one approach isn’t working, try another rather than continuing to hammer away fruitlessly.
Staying focused doesn’t have to be a struggle. While it may not be easy, managing your focus can and should be self-affirming and fulfilling. Making progress on work that is meaningful is among the most energizing and satisfying experiences anyone can have.
For instance, some people can increase their productivity by setting a series of deadlines for themselves. For others, a deadline only promotes focus when it’s real, interpersonally relevant, and has serious consequences attached, not when it’s made up by themselves or someone else for seemingly arbitrary reasons. A real deadline for me is, for example, knowing there will be an audience waiting to hear me speak at a particular time.
Productivity strategies also lose their potential to motivate when they don’t feel meaningful. Try reframing something you have to do in terms of your core values for stronger and more sustained focus.
We often assume that productivity means getting more things done each day. Wrong. Productivity is getting important things done consistently. And no matter what you are working on, there are only a few things that are truly important.
Being productive is about maintaining a steady, average speed on a few things, not maximum speed on everything.
That's why this strategy is effective. If you do the most important thing first each day, then you'll always get something important done.
Here are the top ten tips that help me get done the things that I must or want to do without losing my mind.