How I Went from More Productive to Less Constructive
This post kept coming to mind not because being productive is something I’ve mastered, but because laziness is something I’m often battling.
Throughout my teenage years, I was super proud of how productive I was. Every morning at 6:00 am, I was up and running five miles. From there I spent the rest of my day setting my own schedule, eating extremely “clean”, working two part-time jobs, participating in as many activities as I could, working toward finishing high school over a year early, and taking online college courses.
That all went straight downhill after getting married and having Fern. Moral of the story: stay single forever! TOTALLY kidding. Not quite sure what happened, but I’m no where near as productive as I once was.
As I’ve tried to get back to my old productive ways, here are six things that I try to practice in my own life.
6 Ways to Become More Productive
1. Live a Healthy Lifestyle This is huge for me. I feel worlds better when I’m eating clean and working out. I feel better about myself and I think my hormones are probably more balanced. Two years ago my friend and I went through a 28 day cleanse. It was crazy! It wasn’t just crazy because of strict it was, but because of the results we saw too. We had more energy, slept better at night, worked out harder, and were generally more productive. Maybe try giving up sugar for a month. Or maybe you’re ready to really make a change and you go for a Whole30!
2. Set a Strict Wake-up Time and Bedtime
I’m not a morning person. I hate getting out of bed. I do however LOVE the benefits of rising early. Generally, my toddler is still asleep and I have time to get a jump start on my day. When we travel, I always try to get up early. I don’t want to miss a single sunrise, chilly hike, or kayaking trip. Getting to bed early is just as important so you can get a full night’s rest. Despite what many think, adults need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night.
3. Make To-Do Lists When I make to-do lists I feel like I have a much better grip on life. I know what I need to do and then I can prioritize. Taking Fern in for her check-up: priority level 1. Getting a blog post up every Tuesday: priority level 2. Grabbing a Starbucks: priority level 3 (unless it’s Pumpkin Spice).
4. Create an Intentional Workspace I would love to run over to Starbucks every afternoon to catch up on emails, blog stuff, and study, but I just can’t. So in my house I’ve set up a small workspace for myself. It’s nothing special. Just a table and chair against one wall in Nate’s office.
5. Eliminate Distractions Man is this something I’m bad at for sure! For me it’s social media, my current fave TV show, and maybe just filling my schedule too full so that I don’t have time to actually work. When I need to get stuff done, I put time limits on my social media use, cut out TV altogether, and only commit to what I really need to.
6. Get Motivated Find something to get pumped up about! I recently created a 30 before 30 list (stole the idea from friend). Basically it’s 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. There’s no way I’ll get all of those cool things done if I’m lazy. Maybe your motivation is travel. You’ve got to get up and work hard if you want to save up the money and time to see the world. The best motivation to become more productive is that we are here on earth to serve a greater purpose. Christ loved us enough to save us and now we have to privilege to live for him.
How Does Productivity Tie into Traveling?
Well you can’t travel if you’re sitting on the couch can you?
Stop robbing yourself by not being productive. Time is precious and fleeting. Maybe you already do all or some of these things. Leave a comment on what YOU do to kick butt in life. Who knows, maybe your idea will encourage someone else! Or maybe you, like me, are struggling to become more productive. Try picking one or two of my suggestions to start with this week. See how it goes and add the rest as you can.
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