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Before you can find a productivity method that works for you, you need to know yourself. Being productive is more than just trying what everyone else is doing and crossing your fingers that something works.
Are you a master of excuses of why you don’t get enough done? Have you got a slew of reasons and justifications packed away to pull out at a moment’s notice? Friend, you are sabotaging yourself. All of that self-soothing is nothing more than avoidance techniques.
Ask yourself honestly, “Am I using these excuses to avoid making a change?”
There are so many methods and helps available to us that there’s really no good excuse to be unproductive, is there? So then why is it something that so many of us struggle with?
The key to productivity
Whether you feel totally out of control or just need to manage your time a bit better, the first thing you need to do is know yourself. Figure out what works for you and then work on disciplining yourself to do it.
Sounds easy, but it’s not.
Learning what works for you may take a lot of trial and error, and it will definitely take some introspection. Most people overlook the fact that productivity methods are not cookie-cutter solutions.
Think about clothes shopping. Skinny jeans might be the trend, but we all know that they just don’t work for every body type. Time management is really no different. You can try on the method that your best friend uses. But you might be left standing in the dressing room, with your mother telling you, “I think that’s how it’s supposed to look, honey.” (When it’s definitely not how it’s supposed to look.)
What resonates with you?
The question I want you to keep in mind is, “What resonates with me?”
A lot of years ago I was at a staff meeting at a school where I worked in which we had to get into groups and share a “best practice” that we utilized. It didn’t have to be classroom related, it could be anything in work or home life.
I remember exactly one lifehack from that meeting. A lady in my group shared that whenever she went through a carwash, she used the time to wipe down her dashboard and tidy up her front console.
It’s a small thing, but I remember it, and I could not tell you what one other person in my group shared. Why? Because for some reason it resonated with me.
As you explore productivity methods, you’ll find some that make you cringe and others that resonate. Lean into those.
Find Productivity Methods
So where are you supposed to find these methods? Well, for starters, you can talk to people you know. Especially the ones you know are mega-productive. Let them tell you about what works for them and think, “Would that work for me?”
That’s definitely a place to start, but chances are you’re still only going to find a few methods that way. I have a couple of other things I would refer you to try out.
A Year of Living Productively
Melanie Wilson is a PhD turned homeschool mom who experimented with more than 80 methods to increase productivity in her own life. She’s sharing her experiences, along with a condensed description of each method in her book A Year of Living Productively.
I found this affordable ebook so helpful! I could scan each method and if it resonated with me, go back and dig in a little and read more. Then I could try the methods that I felt might work for me, knowing that if it didn’t work, there were tons more to learn about.
I’ve had this post planned for some time, so when I got word that one of my favorite companies–the ladies at Ultimate Bundles— was putting together The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, I knew I needed to include it. They are experts at gathering a huge amount of resources and offering it at an insane price. I have never been disappointed.
With this bundle they have helps for time management, home management, work management, goal setting, planners, and more. You will definitely have loads of methods to sort through and see what resonates with you with this bundle. No doubt!
It’s not available till February 20th, but I’ll be sure to remind you! (No worries on spamming though…I value your email space and refuse to flood your inbox.)
We’re spending this month looking at how to make lasting change by changing one habit at a time. How’re you doing?
Read more in the creating habits series:
3 – The only thing you need to know to be productive and get more done. (this post)