Being productive is not the same as being busy. Just in the same way that being efficient is not the same as being effective, which you can read more about in this Atlassian Blog post written by Dom Price here: ‘Is Productivity Dead?’
Continue reading below for a few tips on how to free up time for yourself whilst still being productive.
Tip 1: Tomorrow starts today.
Don’t let something consume your whole day when it doesn’t have to. Plan what your day should look like the night before, write down how long it should take you to do each task and stick to it. You will find that you will complete more tasks quicker than if you hadn’t planned your day ahead of time.
Tip 2: Put your own oxygen mask first.
You can’t please everyone, you need to accept that no matter how hard you try, there will always be people telling you that you suck or that your dreams will never come true. Look after yourself first and worry about pleasing others later.
Tip 3: Learn to say no.
Just because you have 10 clients all expecting work from you, so you spend sleepless nights at your computer editing away does not make you productive, you are just busy. I can guarantee that if you had said no to five of those clients, the work that you would have produced for the five clients you did take on would have been of far higher quality, leading those clients to continue working with you again in the future.
A little trick to cut down on the work that you are doing without losing any income is to double your prices. You may lose half of your potential clients, but you will be making the same amount of money and you are doing half the work you would have been doing otherwise. Just don’t go too far and overprice yourself.
Tip 4: Sleep is important.
Those who say ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ will be dead far sooner than anyone who gets a full nights sleep and wakes up at the same time every morning will. They say that adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, use them.
Tip 5: Create more than you consume.
Humans are simple creatures that require tasks to do to feel as though they are of use to society, without a goal or a use for their time, humans become lonely and depressed. Feed that basic need. Do something with your life. Set a goal that you want to achieve and the time frame that you want to complete it in and work backwards from there.
Consumption is a great source of inspiration and learning, but if you don’t do something with those skills and ideas, what is it all for?
Life is short and you only get one shot at it. Do it right and do it well. Don’t give up.
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