• Yasharth

Mistakes you might be making while trying to be Productive.

While sailing out on a journey to become more productive, there are some mistakes we might make along the way. Some of them may be misconceptions and some might be genuine mistakes. Here are some mistakes you might be making while attempting to be productive…

Letting it float

“Your brain is for having ideas, not holding them,” says David Allen.

When you have an idea or a notion, put it into action and start working on it rather than letting it float away. Our to-do lists, innovative ideas, and plans should all be captured. Our brain is not designed to store ideas, because it is prone to forgetting them. To stay more organised, jot down your spontaneous thoughts, ideas, plans on paper or enter them into note-taking apps like Notion or Evernote. According to David Allen,

“The short-term memory part of your mind—the part that tends to hold all of the incomplete, undecided, and unorganized “stuff”—functions much like RAM on a personal computer. Your conscious mind, like the computer screen, is a focusing tool, not a storage place. You can think about only two or three things at once. But the incomplete items are still being stored in the short-term memory space. And as with RAM, there’s limited capacity; there’s only so much “stuff” you can store in there and still have that part of your brain function at a high level. Most people walk around with their RAM bursting at the seams. They’re constantly distracted, their focus disturbed by their own internal mental overload.”

Even while studying for exams and assessments, you retain information by memorizing concepts repeatedly till the information is etched in your long-term memory. If you expect that you will be able to remember the spontaneous ideas which sprout in your brain, then you are wrong. The simple act of writing my creative thoughts down has worked miracles for me. It has given me a storyline for a book, ideas for my blog that I can use in the future and has made me much more organised.

Missing out on the fun

You may not realise it, but fun plays an important role in productivity. You don't need any inspiration or motivation to get started doing the activities you enjoy. The element of fun is enough to provide you with the motivation you require.

I don't have to force myself to play the piano; the fact that I enjoy it is enough to keep me seated for hours. Whereas, if it is something that I dislike, I will probably procrastinate a lot before sitting down. Just the mere thought of studying makes me want to run away from it. In the end, I waste a lot of time and get nothing done. To overcome this repulsion from work, a method you could use is gamification. Make the task like a game or rather perceive it as one. And I know it sounds way too cliché, but it does work. Even friendly competition works in the same way.

When studying for exams, I set a goal for myself, such as finishing the geography curriculum in 6 hours. If I fail to meet this goal, I impose consequences on myself; for example, you could place a bet with a sibling and put something on the line, or you could cancel your Netflix subscription, or anything else. Anything you aren't willing to let go of easy.

This way, you're setting yourself a deadline and a penalty if you don't meet the target. The consequence should be enough to move you; the agony of losing something should outweigh the pain of studying. This way, you can finish things that you dislike, and who knows, you could even love the process.

Getting stressed/Being too serious

The work you are doing should never feel like suffering or misery. It should always give you pleasure and joy. It's difficult to enjoy things you don't like, whether it's office work or homework (depending on whether you're a student or have a job). There are, however, a few tricks you can employ to hack the hate.

We have already talked about gamifying things before so let's not discuss that again. Working in groups is another way to enjoy the experience. You can call some friends over and have a cup of tea together while getting a ton of work done. You might become side-tracked from time to time, which could reduce your productivity. However, as long as you accomplish the job without banging your head on the wall, it’s worth it.

Being serious is beneficial since it boosts your useful output, allowing you to be extremely productive. But being very serious all of the time isn’t necessarily good. I don't mean to imply that being distracted is alright; rather, I mean to imply that you can switch modes. You can work in one of two ways: serious and concentrated or relaxed and concentrated. You can either sit in perfect solidarity and become the world's most productive human being, or you can play some music and get just enough work done.

You must learn to flip between the two moods. If you are learning anything new, it is best to avoid distractions so that your brain can retain the majority of the knowledge. If it's something you're already familiar with, you may take it lightly by inviting some pals around for company or playing some lo-fi beats.

The working style you choose is entirely based on the scenario; you might choose to be serious or easy-going. Whatever methods you choose, make sure it is effective and beneficial. Make sure that you are enjoying whatever you do and make the best out of your time.

Signing off.


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