There are many guides out there devoted to helping people with their productivity. That’s great and we do need them from time to time. That said, it’s very easy to think of productivity as a general state instead of something we do for a purpose. It’s not easy to be productive at all hours of the day unless you loosen your definition of what ‘productivity might mean. Sleeping, for example, is ‘productive,’ because it helps your body restore its vital functions, aids in replenishing your health, and can give you a much-needed mental break from the stresses of daily life. That said, it’s unlikely this kind of productivity will help you with your next career change, outside of providing the fundamental wellness necessary to chase it.
So, it’s important to focus on productivity as a state of being as opposed to an action you can practice all the time. Think of it as a fire serving as a fuel source to move the ‘train of action,’ rather than a good practiced all on its own. Purpose-driven thinking can improve your productivity in this way. Let’s explore how that can be, below:
Completing Each Session Well
Productivity is something that you work towards, and it’s best to split it up into segments. For instance, a ‘productive’ morning working on a particular goal is how productivity is measured, not if you have completed an entire project in record time and without any mistakes at all.
For this reason, whenever you sit down to study, or work on a personal project, or cultivate a life amenity like your resume, it’s important to isolate what your goals are for that session. Will this mean properly researching the essential constituent elements of a Yale law school essay? Might it mean writing out a detailed covering letter for a job application? This way, you can focus in blocks, take ten-minute breaks every hour or so, and keep yourself guided without wasting your time.
Turn off distractions, prepare your refreshments, make sure that you’re seated comfortably and won’t be bothered, and then get to work. Sometimes, this might mean crafting a second user profile on your computer, for example, so that you stay within the necessary boundaries.
Breaking Down A Goal Into Tasks
Using management tracking apps can help you take the complex necessities of a larger requirement and break that down to the point where it’s understandable, and even enjoyable, to complete.
Let’s use an example. Perhaps you’re writing a resume. Breaking that down into a few tasks is important. First, make sure that you have the correct dates for your schooling and what exact qualifications you have received. Then, you can track exactly who you’ve worked for, how long, and what your responsibilities were. You can then spend a morning contacting your old employers and ask for a reference to potentially ease your transition into a new job. Little measures like this can make a massive difference, and help you make incremental progress rather than doing everything at once and feeling out of sorts while trying to organize your thoughts.
Setting A Deadline
Setting a deadline is important in many ways, not so that you feel as if you can’t get anything done for fear of not doing it in time, but because it will help you structure your discipline in the right way. You might calculate that two hours of progress on a certain project is what you need in order to get something done with a week to spare.
In University, this kind of planning can be key. Students often find themselves leaving these considerations to the last minute, but this can rob you of a worthwhile grade if you’re not careful and may totally revoke your ability to collaborate and gain advice from your professors. With a personally imposed deadline, everything else can take shape.
Keeping Your Research Streamlined
If you’re not an organized note-taker, it’s good to learn this foundational skill to help you practice planning with the necessary information in hand. This might sound obvious, but it’s truly a necessary skill that many of us can eschew if we deem it irrelevant.
Learning this kind of potential can make a massive difference, and may even help you begin to organize your files digitally, such as with apps like Evernote or within a school’s software protocols.
With this advice, we hope you can understand how purpose-driven thinking will improve your productivity, as well as how to integrate that into your schedule.