Achieving a goal is hard work. It involves a lot of focus, determination, and commitment. Nothing good in life comes easy. Anything of worth demands some level of sacrifice of time, energy, and resources. Whenever you are passionate about a project (such as learning a new skill, writing a blog post, preparing for an exam), distractions such as fear, doubt, social media, friends, and other assignments can make it very difficult for you to concentrate. Maybe you are the type that doesn’t beat deadlines, you end up being choked, underprepared, and sometimes outrightly abandon the project. We are here to help you
- Prioritize Your Task
Use the time management matrix to prioritize your task. This will guide you to know when or if you will attend to a given task. The time management matrix is divided into 4; Important but Urgent: these are tasks that must be done now like last minutes, emergencies, and pressing issues. Important but Not Urgent: these are projects you schedule and plan ahead of time, like content creation, examination, e.tc. Not Important but Urgent: these are activities you delegate or push back such as meeting other people’s priorities, some emails, and calls. Not Important and Not Urgent: these are activities you can eliminate such as social media notifications.
2. Write Out Your Plan Ahead of Time
You can use a diary, excel, word, sticky notes, apps, or a calendar. Ensure you have a daily plan before morning, write them down before you sleep in the night. The best way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to eliminating the noise around you is to intentionally block out time in your day to spend on a given endeavor. Color-code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are achieving the target at hand. Your plan must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reliable, and Time-based.
3. Learn to Say No
Remain consistent with your goals and committed to your planned schedule. Understand and accept it is humanly impossible to be available to everybody at the same time.
4. Recognize Obstacles Exist
Identify obstacles and employ strategies to overcome them. Make a list of threats to the flow of your plan for example power supply from PHCN, internet downtime.
5. Make the Most of Your Free Time
Every time counts. Ensure that whatever you are doing at the time is adding value to your life.
6. Stop Multitasking
Instead of trying to do many things at the same time, handle one task at a time. Start your day with a more demanding and difficult endeavor, then as the day winds down you could do the lesser tasks. This way you maximize your energy and brainpower.
7. Take a Walk
Your focus declines after a long time sitting in front of a screen. At this point, you need to take a brief break away from the computer or mobile device. Take a walk outside, the fresh air will help clear your head. Good rest is key for a sound mind and memory.
8. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Use apps like Freedom and Self Control to keep you off your social media notifications when you have deadlines to meet. Other software like RescueTime that runs in the background while you work, can help you understand why a project is taking much more time to complete than is necessary.
Spend some time to meditate maybe in the evening or early in the morning. Meditation improves your focus, attentiveness, and helps you internalize new concepts. Apps like Headspace, Meditation Made Simple, and Calm is very useful in this regard. You can try any of them. Most successful people in the world utilize the power of meditation extensively.
10. Find the Right Environment
Your environment could positively or negatively affect your productivity. To be highly effective, you need to strike a balance between too much noise and absolute silence. According to research, we are more creative in an environment with background noise as long as we are not distracted by it. Instead of absolute silence, the ideal work environment for creative work should have a bit of background sound. Choose or set up your work environment carefully for maximum productivity.
11. The Right Sound
While background sound from your earpiece (or stereo) might help filter off loud office noise or noise within your surroundings, you should be careful that what you are listening to is not distracting you more. I recommend you listen to classical or electronic music while working instead of music with lyrics. Music with lyrics especially new one you have not heard before, have the capacity to divert your attention from the work before you.
12. Always Reward Yourself Success
This could be as simple as checking off that to-do list. Rewarding yourself keeps you motivated and ready to get back to be productive. Congratulate yourself for your silent, hard-fought victories. Be the best lover of yourself, just because no one else knows about it and few can relate to it, doesn’t mean it’s not worth celebrating.