If you want to know how to change your behavior, ask a psychologist! In Psychology Today, 15 psychologists shared their views on how to become more productive. The following are the highlights of their many pearls of wisdom.
(Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)
1. Be Strict About Ending Distraction
Distraction is a number one reason people reach the end of the day and wonder, “how did I get so little done?” The problem is, we don’t always realize how much time is being sapped through little distractions. Little distractions over the course of the day may add up to many hours.
If you are using a computer, get an app that cuts off the internet after a selected amount of time — for example, five minutes. Some apps keep track of how much time you spend working on specific projects. You click it on or off as you work on the project or take a break. It is a good way to see how much of your time you are actually spending working.
If you have an office door, close it when you have to get something done.
2. Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Tasks
Sometimes an overwhelming task or project is the hardest to begin. However, by breaking up that huge project into smaller tasks or goals, you remove the overwhelm. For example, if you have a huge research paper to write, break up different areas of research into separate tasks. When those are done, just work on the outline. Then, you can flesh out different sections as you see fit.
3. Embrace First Attempt Failure
Fear of failure saps our productivity becaue we have trouble starting a project when we feel insecure. Write a terrible first draft; it does not make you a terrible writer. Put together a curriculum you know won’t work (don’t use it in the classroom;) this does not make you a bad teacher. Or write a speech you would never dream of giving. Sometimes getting started requires initial failure. We can then use that terrible first draft as a springboard to write something brilliant. You have to start somewhere; don’t be afraid of initial failure.
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