9 ways you can be super-productive every day!

Few ways to be more productive, starting today, whether you're barely surviving on the productivity scale or totally rocking it!
Sandhya Nagaraj
Published on: 10th July 2015
Without further ado!

1. Make a To-Do list everyday: Your To-Do is your map of where all you need to go before you can get back home on that day- figuratively, and literally. Having a list helps you identify how many things you have on your plate; it facilitates efficient planning to complete the impending tasks, and do I have to even talk about that ‘aha!’ moment when you 'check off' the tasks on your To-Do?

2. Break the maximum capacity mind-set: This is perhaps the best productivity hack anyone can ever get. We all have an 'estimate' of how much we can achieve in a day. Unfortunately, once we reach the threshold that we had set for ourselves, we stop. "I can only write 2000 words a day", "I can only study 4hrs without a break", "I can only work 9 hours a day without losing my sanity", this list goes on. Question is- who said? WHO said that a certain 'X' is your capacity? You and only you defined it. Nobody can set a limit on your ability; so the least you can do is not limit it yourself by what you tell yourself. Of course there's a limit on how much you can do in a day, but for most people, this limit is still way farther than the limit they set on themselves. For one day, don't check the word count when you write, don't check the number of miles you've run, don't check the number of lines of code you've written. Just keep going, until mental or physical exhaustion sets in, and take a look! You'll be surprised.

3. Stay inspired: Inspiration doesn't last, no matter whether you're the most successful person in the world, or the most ordinary. People with high productivity keep positive feedback loops, like great company who keep them motivated, or great books to keep their thoughts positive, or videos and talks to keep their frequencies high! Build your own positive feedback loops, and stay inspired!
4. Let go of worry: To live completely in the present is an ability a few possess. However, if you can master it, then you can master life. You can't solve a critical issue at work if all the while your mind is on what happened with your friends at dinner the previous night, can you? You can't 'think' about the yesterdays and tomorrows, and LIVE completely in the present. So drop the burdens of yesterday, shake off the worries of tomorrow, and just be completely present, in the present!

5. Help somebody: Take a few minutes off, and instead of working on your To-Do like a maniac, go help somebody who needs it. Take life slow, take time to breathe. Helping one another must come as naturally as breathing, but in today's competitive world, people forget all about being human. At workplaces, everybody wants more credit, nobody wants to give any. Everybody wants help when they're on a tough project; nobody is willing to even look at the next person. There are exceptions to every rule no doubt, but the vast majority forget the basic fact that we are all the same- human beings, and we have to put that fact above all our differences. Helping ONE person a day in any simple way will have such an impact on your happiness (and hence productivity) levels, I recommend you all to try it!

6. Reward yourself: Get a small chocolate when you check off more than 50% of what's on your to-do list by noon, spend ten minutes listening to your favourite song once you've finished an important target for the day, go for a lavish dinner if you've had a big accomplishment! Remember to keep small rewards for the small stuff as well, feel good factors along the way will keep you driven to get where you want.

7. Exercise: Energy levels deplete as day becomes noon and noon by evening. Drowsiness post lunch, lethargy by 3pm, or inability to focus by the evening are productivity stealers. Regular exercise can help keep all these and those mood swings at bay. All that time you spend on conquering a mood fluctuation can instead then be spent on doing more of what gives you satisfaction (even if that is the time you take out for exercise, it's worth it!).
8. Learn something new every day: It can be a Latin phrase, or a French song or the Spanish language. It can be a new art or a new skill or a new hobby. Learning something new every day will keep the child in you alive, and the brain you have sharp!

9. Live life by the second: If you're thinking about the twelve hours of work you did 'yesterday', you'll probably want to work lesser today. If your focus is on how you can only get four hours' sleep for a month, then your brain in all probability will want to shut down for a bit during the day. Forget about what you did yesterday, about how many hours you slept- only the quality matters, and continue doing what you want to do without stats!

How productive are you on an average day? What are your productivity hacks? I'd love to hear through comments!
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