How are you using your time?
If there's anything that I've learnt this year, it's that tomorrow is never promised and time waits for no man. With everything that's happened, I've learnt the importance of now. The present moment. Which is truly a blessing to live in.
And yet with that awareness, I still sometimes find myself procrastinating and wasting opportunities. Assuming that I've always got so much time to do this, that and the other. But that's far from reality.
In this post, I'll be sharing some helpful points to remember when seeking to become more productive and overcome procrastination.
1. the action of delaying or postponing something.
How to beat procrastination
Phew. Let that sink in...
When dealing with procrastination, I believe the first step is discovering the root cause. Finding out what exactly makes you procrastinate. Is it fear? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you have too many distractions whenever you start a task? What is the reason?
Once you understand why, you'll have a better idea of how to overcome it. For some, it may simply mean deleting certain apps from your phone. For others, it'll mean scheduling your tasks in a way that decreases stress.
Whatever you need. Take the time to understand your reasons for delaying the tasks that you have at hand.
For me, whenever I find myself delaying and slipping into procrastination, I remind myself of three simple things:
The 'perfect' time might never come.
Don't delay what you can do successfully today.
Tomorrow is not promised.
Tips on how to be more productive
If you don't necessarily struggle with procrastination, but are looking for ways to boost your productivity, here are some of the things that help me!
1. Set a routine
There's just something very satisfying about crossing things off a list.
I am always more productive when I have a plan. So plan, plan, plan! Write a list of essential things you want to complete every day beforehand. Create vision boards or mind maps for long term goals.
If I know I have a lot to do, I always write myself a to-do list the night before, organising my tasks based on priority and how long it'll roughly take me to get things done.
I find if you commit to doing something on paper, you're more likely to get it done when the opportunity arises. Then once you have that routine or plan in order, you know clearly what needs to be done and can also measure productivity when you review what has been completed.
2. Start small
A little today is better than none at all.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when there's too much to do. I always recommend to start with smaller tasks and have realistic goals of what you can accomplish in a given time.
Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once. Instead, break it down. 5 minutes today. 10 minutes tomorrow. Another 5 the day after. Before you know it you'll have put in hours of work on a task without feeling stressed at the magnitude of it.
3. Continue consistently
With everything, consistency is key.
You might find yourself slipping backwards if you don't maintain the little habits that help you stay productive overall. Stay focused and remind yourself why you're making changes and seeking to be more productive.
Linking back to the second point, a little with consistency will give you better results over time than a lot with inconsistency. So keep going. Build upon yesterday and aim for better.
Resource: Atomic Habits by James Clear
If you're looking for ways to be more productive and build better habits, I can't recommend this book enough! Filled with practical tips and step by step guides on how to improve yourself.
A little nugget of inspiration:
"We all have goals that we would like to achieve and dreams that we would like to fulfil, but it doesn't matter what you are trying to become better at, if you only do the work when it's convenient or exciting, then you'll never be consistent enough to achieve remarkable results. [...] The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom." – p.235-236
If you've been encouraged by this, I highly recommend reading James Clear's book and visiting his website for more resources.
Scriptures to remember - now is your only guarantee!
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. – Proverbs 27:1
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-15
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. – Psalm 90:12
Rest can also be productive...
With productivity in mind, I'll mention it's important not to fall into the trap of becoming a productive robot. This'll lead to long term burn out. Instead I encourage you to receive and use each moment as a blessing. Remembering to take some time out to rest.
Lastly, why wait for another day when we don’t know what lies ahead? Like the scriptures above detail, we simply do not know. So tell people that you love them. Meet up with friends. Spend time with your family. Build even more beautiful memories because whilst you’re waiting, time is not.
I hope you've enjoyed this spoken word poem, stay tuned on my blog for new poetry content each week and feel free to say hi on socials!
- Faithful xoxo
About the Author:
Faith Olajuyigbe is a Birmingham based writer. She has a background in drama with a focus on writing poetry, blogs and more.
Through her work, she explores themes such as love, life, faith, passion and purpose. Faith is a true creative at heart and also enjoys videography and editing.
YouTube: Faith Olajuyigbe