Have you ever wondered why some days you just can’t seem to get anything done?
Issac Newton said it best. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by a force. On the flip side of that – Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, unless acted upon by a force.
If you’re truly looking to increase your productivity, the same is true for you. The more you sit around and don’t kick yourself in the butt to get moving, the more likely it is you’ll keep doing just that.
But when you do decide to be productive, often times all it takes to really get moving is to just get started. Once you get started, your momentum tends to keep you going unless you’re acted upon by an outside force (an email that interrupts your flow – for example).
There are two lessons here.
The first is pretty simple.
Just Get Started
It might sound a little too easy to make any kind of difference, but often times just getting started is all it takes. Usually when you have unproductive days, it’s because you’re not looking forward to whatever it is you have to work on. Because of this it’s more difficult for you to simply get started.
You might try to convince yourself that what you need to get done can wait. You might tend to look for other things to do like check your emails, have unproductive meetings, or piddle around on the internet. But in the back of your mind that thing you are dreading keeps getting worse and worse because it’s not getting finished.
This starts to bubble into worry in your mind, and it then starts to distract you from other things you’re doing.
Take my advice. Whatever it is you’re worried about, isn’t that bad. Pop on some sweet music, kick those negative thoughts out of your head, and just get started. Once you’ve started, you’ll realize there was nothing to worry about in the first place, you’ll gain some nice productivity momentum, and you’ll get it done.
You’ll also feel much better once you do get that thing done, and you can then focus on other tasks and projects.
The only thing that can stop you is if you’re acted upon by an outside force.
Eliminating Outside Distractions
Eliminating distraction is the second lesson here to help you increase your productivity.
You see, when you get distracted, there are switching costs when you try to start back up with whatever it was you were doing. You have to try to gain back your focus, and that takes time, especially if you were working on something you weren’t too excited about doing in the first place.
If you need to focus, try to eliminate as much distraction as possible.
- Lock yourself in a quiet room
- Turn off your email
- Maximize your computer screen
- Eliminate sudden noises
- Ditch your phone
- Do anything you can that allows you to increase your level of focus
The more you are able to focus on your task without being distracted, the more likely it is you’ll be able to maintain your momentum, and the more likely it is you’ll increase your productivity – and believe me – Newton would love to see that.