Productive living is the most beneficial decision you can make for yourself.
It makes you stand out over a lot of people because not many people would go the extra mile to become productive.
But if you’re willing to do all it takes, then you are on the right path.
The trailblazers and pacesetters you look up to today (think of someone you look up to) all had a distinct uniqueness to them.
If you read their stories, you will realize they were different from everyone around them.
They didn’t think about what others thought of them or how strange or inconsequential their lives seemed to others.
They believed in what they did and they never gave up on it even if it was not something anyone had envisioned or could envision.
If you want to make a difference in your world, then you need to create a lifestyle that will lead you there.
A lifestyle of productivity is a life of many advantages.
If you become dedicated to living productively, there’s no limit to what you can achieve because productivity encompasses everything you need to know to grow and be your best.
If you’ve always heard about productivity or being productive but you never really understood what all the fuss is about, I will help you.
Before we go to our hacks, I will be sharing what productivity means and why it is important to be productive.
After these hacks, I will also share some tips on how to live a productive life with you.
Are you skeptical about this ‘productivity thing?’ Is it everywhere and you just don’t know if it’s worth all the hype and talk? Would you like to know if it’s for you?
Hang on with me, it will be an informative and transforming read.
But if you’re here for the Easy hacks for a more productive life, go straight to it now.
What does it mean to be productive
I will not give you some systematic meaning or a dictionary meaning with ambiguous words. Rather, I will relate the meaning of productivity to you in a way you can understand better.
As opposed to what people think, a productive person is not someone who engages in a lot of work in 24 hours and gets their work done in a few seconds. No!
Rather, productivity is getting your work done at a moderate pace, living an all round balanced life, and finding time to rest, have fun, and also make time for other tasks along the way.
You are finding productivity strenuous and unrealistic because you’re being too hard on yourself. If you keep compounding yourself with all the ideas and work you need to do, you will eventually get tired and chant “productivity doesn’t work.”
Productivity is a principle and a system that works.
And as with every system and principle, they all have rules and guidelines you need to follow, but the interesting thing about productivity is that each rule and guidelines differ from person to person.
So, what works for me might not work for you, and what works for you might not work for me.
This is why you have been frustrated about being productive. You have been trying to live like another person. Read more and see the solution here.
Productivity entails routines, habit building, and adapting to a system (that changes as you evolve or grow).
So, if this routine works for you, it might not work for another.
This is why, as a productivity coach, my job is to help you understand what works for you as a person.
I once struggled with productivity because I wanted to copy and paste someone else’s productivity lifestyle for mine, but as I said, I struggled.
I eventually found what worked for me and I’ve been a work in progress since then.
Also, nobody ever fully hacks the productivity system. It changes as we grow, as we learn, and as we mature.
So, it’s totally okay to wake up by 9 am from age 21-24, and then by age 25, you wake up as early as 4 am.
This is why we are always a work in progress.
Also read: The Problem of Productivity Culture: When Productivity Becomes Bad
Why is being productive important?
From my explanation of productivity, you probably have gotten why productivity is important, but if you’re still unsure, here are the importance of being productive below:
- A balanced life: As you already know, a balanced life is a life lived doing all the things that matter. You do your work at an appropriate time, you have time for family and friends, and you also have time for the things you love. Productivity is the gateway to a balanced life.
- Getting important things done: Do you know you can spend the whole day working so hard and yet still feel unfulfilled at the end of the day? Well, I know!
It is possible to be busy and yet not get anything done and this happens majorly when you don’t set priorities. Learn more about setting priorities.
Being productive helps you do the important things. And important things, when done, make you fulfilled.
- Trusting yourself and being trusted: If you want people to entrust you with work and recommend you to others, you must be diligent in your work.
This also means you will trust that you can deliver. This will build confidence in you and help you take up any challenge.
This is what productivity does.
It builds character in you that in turn affects your attitude to your work and other people’s work.
- Enjoying life: Life is too unpredictable to live a boring and exhausting life. If you’re stuck living a life or a routine that makes you unhappy and frustrated, then you’re not being productive.
Productivity helps you set out time for the important aspects of your life that bring you joy.
In fact, productivity prioritizes fun, peace, and joy overwork, stress, and tiredness.
- Gaining access to limitless opportunities: Most humans have around 6200 thoughts in a day, with many ideas accompanying these thoughts but only a few people put those ideas to work.
And ideas, when put to work, birth opportunities and more ideas.
So, if you’re a productive person, you will open yourself to opportunities you’ll never get by living life as it comes.
Easy hacks for a more productive life
They are easy hacks but it takes discipline, consistency, and taking action to make them work for you…
The first and most important easy hack for a more productive life is understanding yourself.
If you read the section: what does it mean to be productive (read it again), you will see that I wrote about understanding yourself and how what works for me might not work for you and vice versa.
So, to be productive, you must understand who you are; your strengths, your weaknesses, how much you can handle, or what you can’t do at all.
For me, I had to learn that over time my body had gotten used to sleeping late and waking up late, so I became a night person.
This has helped me realize that the area I need to work on is how to become a morning person and I also know that for now, I can’t get much work done during the day unlike how much I can do at night.
I could notice this and several others because I paid attention to myself and also because I have tried several productivity tricks and systems until I discovered my own.
You don’t have to go through all this stress as I did. Reach out to me and let me help you discover your strengths and weaknesses while I set a productive system that works for you.
Another thing I learned from understanding myself is how much alarm works for me. I also know that setting my alarm once does not work unless I set it in succession.
If I want to wake up by 9 am, I have to set an alarm for 8:30 am (reminder that I have to wake up in 30 min), 8:50 am (get ready), 9 am (It’s time!) 9:10 am (This is your last chance! Lol)
These interesting and unique facts about yourself will help you know the productivity system that works for you.
So, pay attention to yourself!
Do you wonder why you’re not fulfilled at the end of the day even though you have worked throughout the day?
You’re not fulfilled at the end of the day because you have not done the most important things.
But how can you know the important things when you’re relying on the information in your head to get things done?
Also read: 5 Powerful Benefits of Writing Things Down
Are you the type of person that never writes down a to-do list but always believes you will remember what you have to do as time goes on?
The problem with this mindset is that you will end up doing things that are least important and forgetting to do the important things until it’s time to lay down to sleep and the important things start hunting you (lol)
I have always spoken about setting goals but you will be setting your goals wrong if you don’t know how to set priorities.
I pose this question to you: If you have to:
- Read a book
- Submit a work assignment with a 12 hours deadline
- Wash your clothes
- Attend a zoom meeting with a client in 2 hours
Which will you do first or which of them would you prepare for first?
That is the thing with setting priorities. if you don’t write down these things, you will not realize how much 12 hours have passed or you will probably be reading a book (which can be a pastime pleasure) instead of preparing for your zoom meeting in 2 hours.
So, an easy hack to living a more productive life is setting priorities.
When you wake up in the morning, write down your to-do list for the day and set those lists in order of priority.
Ask yourself, “Which one comes first?”
Then after setting these priorities (if there are 8 to-do lists), take away 5 or 4 tasks you don’t mind not doing, then focus on achieving the important top 3 or 4.
You will realize how easy it is to get started on the tasks and get them done.
Ps: Don’t overwhelm yourself. Be disciplined yet lenient with yourself. You can also set your goals and to-do list for the next day on the night before.
You already know what this is about or do you?
This is not majorly about pressing the snooze button of your alarm, it is more about sleep and its delays.
People who sleep a lot have been known to do less than they ought to do.
One thing I have noticed about myself is that I cannot put a nap in the middle of two important tasks.
However, taking a nap has been known to help increase productivity. But for me, it affects my productivity and interrupts my schedule (this is why you have to understand yourself).
When I have important things on my to-do lists and I decide to take a nap in the middle of the tasks with the intention to come back to the task at a particular time, I never get back to the task for that day.
So, take note of your sleeping habits. Be more deliberate and intentional about how sleep affects your productivity for the day.
And when you do sleep, ensure you set an alarm or download Sleep Cycle (an app that tracks your sleep and helps you wake up at your desired time).
A little sleep, a little slumber…
Habits are fuelled by consistency, and the interesting part is when they are formed, consistency becomes easier.
So, don’t only work on setting to-do lists, but also work on developing your important tasks into habits.
If you realize you always have to drink a cup of water by 8 am on your to-do list every day, make it a habit.
If there’s anything you can’t do without or there’s something you have to do every day or bi-weekly to reach a goal, make it a habit.
When you do this, you will become consistent, and doing it will no longer be a hassle.
“Listen to your inner voice and never let the distraction of the crowd discolour your poise.”-Israelmore Ayivor.
Life is full of distractions. It could be your smartphone, your family, friends, social media, or even sleep.
Whatever it may be, block them.
Because they can deter you from achieving your goals and living life to the fullest.
You have to know when to say yes or no to things or people in your life.
In the book, Deep Work by Cal Newport, the author shared stories of great men like Carl Jung and Bill gates who practiced a system that allowed them to stay away from people and any distractions for a particular period of time, and he said this act of putting themselves far from distractions, helped them invent great and never-heard-of ideas that set them apart for life and helped them do great in their business and career.
This shows the importance of blocking distractions.
This is also why people who work from home are usually advised to set their office in a room with a closed door. Doing this will enable them to work without distractions from people living with them (if there are any), or from neighbors and outside noise. You can read more here.
Distractions can be little or big but what they have in common is that they obstruct you from achieving your goals, they delay you, and they prevent you from focusing on important things.
Block distractions and you will achieve more.
Habits are productive systems that are formed a hard way but they eventually stay with you, become a part of you, and can be done on days you don’t feel like doing anything.
But to make productivity work, you must be intentional.
If you are the type that lives life as it comes, you will be limited to the circumstances of life.
You will not be able to take control of what happens in your life.
You will not be able to create the life you want.
You cannot live life hoping the things you want will happen by itself, it doesn’t work that way.
You have to create it. If you can’t create it, you must create an avenue to make it happen.
And it all starts with being intentional.
How can you be intentional?
- By having a schedule and setting goals
- By planning your day, week, month, and year
- By writing down to-do lists
- By being true to yourself in terms of your strengths and weaknesses
- By saying no when you can’t handle something
- By knowing what works for you and sticking to it
- By being consistent even when there’s no visible result yet
- By trusting and believing in yourself even when nobody does
- By going for what you want even when you’re not sure you’d get it.
How to live a productive life
From all that you have read in this article, I am sure you have learned more about productivity than you intended.
This section will be a summary and reiteration of all you have learned.
To live a productive life, you must be intentional about the life you want and you must be ready to have that life.
Your readiness is not about how much you wish you could have the life or how much you talk about it, but how much you’re willing to do to have it.
When you know the principles and systems in place to get the life you want, you must be ready to follow the rules and guidelines.
You must be ready to stay disciplined, consistent, and resilient.
You can live a productive life if you are determined too but you also have to get to work.
Get to work on:
- Your goals: Achieve them!
- Your habits: Develop good ones! Let go of bad ones!
- Your weaknesses: Turn them into strengths!
- Your strengths: Maximize them!
- Your ideas: Build and execute them!
If you don’t work, nothing else will!
Also read: How to Plan a Productive Month
Need a Productivity Coach? Take my coaching sessions. The first session is free! Here’s how!