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SALT LAKE CITY — Being productive is efficiently reaching a goal. Reaching a goal is rewarding personally and socially, but many of us get distracted throughout the day or we learn to procrastinate responsibilities. Here are some tips to help with completing your tasks, reaching your goals and feeling the benefits of being productive.
1. Look for, create and seek motivation for productivity.
Motivation emerges out of needs, values, goals, intentions and expectations. Motivation for a productive day can be internal or external, but it doesn't matter which type one uses as long as that motivation is tapped to follow through on tasks.
2. Personal care comes before care for others.
Being able to focus and stay focused can be greatly dependent on whether one's personal needs are met. Personal needs include adequate sleep, a nutritious diet and maintaining physical, mental and emotional health. Keeping self-care in mind is the best thing you can do for your ability to focus and attend to your responsibilities without distraction.
3. Focus on one thing at a time.
Switching from task to task does not work. Usually, when someone is doing this it is because he is spinning his wheels to avoid something else. This creates stress, which can interfere with one's effort to be more productive.
4. Break up large tasks into smaller tasks.
This can be easily written on a piece of paper or put into your phone. Breaking the job down into components allows one to manage the tasks into bite sited chunks. Smaller goals that can be completed over a relatively short period increase your motivation to continue.
5. Hold boundaries with your work, family, personal and social time.
Learning to set boundaries can be a difficult thing to do. Generally, we end up learning about boundaries by being overwhelmed and reacting in a way that we would not normally choose to do. Try to avoid this situation by setting boundaries now! Once you have set a clear boundary, teach others about it. The only way to do this is by being consistent. Others will trust and respect you if you hold your boundaries because they know in return you will respect theirs.
6. Take breaks throughout your day.
Take a moment to do something completely different from what you are doing so you can recharge. Our brains and bodies need this variation so we can focus better. Examples: go for a walk, have a snack, change rooms or look out the window.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.
Asking for help is difficult for many of us. It is important to recognize when something is beyond what you can handle. Figuring out how someone can assist the project is motivating and the support makes the work easier to focus on.
These suggestions are just a few simple ways to motivate yourself and keep goals and tasks easily in sight so you may have a more productive day. If following these suggestions is difficult, something more may be going on with your functioning. Getting an assessment from a licensed therapist to identify blocks can be well worth your time.
Camille Downing, MA, LCMHC is a therapist with Life Stone Counseling Centers in Salt Lake and Utah Counties. To contact Camille, please visit lifestonecenter.com.