Time and Productivity

I have heard it said that “time is the fire in which we burn”.  Well, it can certainly seem like that when you have a deadline staring you in the face and you realize that your time has—yet again—slipped away, and the odds of meeting that deadline are slim to none.  With the myriad opportunities available for distraction and diversion, maintaining productivity to accomplish a specific task can sometimes be a challenge.  Distractions may not even be the issue; the issue could be time management.

In order to maintain or increase your productivity, it is necessary to effectively manage your time.  Time management is very much an art as it is anything else; the hours available in a day do not change, so creativity in how we manage time is of prime importance.

At present, I have more goals, obligations, and desires during the day (and evening) than I have time to satisfy them all.  I think we have all been in this position at least once.  I would consider forward momentum in each category to be a step in the right direction for increased productivity.  However, this is not making a case for multitasking.

Even though multitasking provides a “quick-fix” to productivity time issues, the long-term outlook does not necessarily lead to quality output—at least not for us humans.  Author Brian Tracy has written many books on the subject of time management.  Some of his notable works emphasize performing one task at a time before moving on to the next task.  This means focusing on a single task until it is completed before moving on to the next.  If the task cannot be completed quickly and/or correctly, then this may be a task where you must pass ownership (outsource) to someone else.

It seems like nothing worthwhile comes easily.  There is always an obstacle in our path that must be overcome.  This obstacle must receive focused attention and be eliminated as quickly as possible.  Getting “stuck” is not only bad for productivity, but it can also weigh on your overall outlook of the situation as well.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and this may be a job for another person as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Maintaining your energy levels will go a long way toward keeping you productive.  It is necessary to see challenges in a positive light and as opportunities to stretch your mind or test your mettle.  Your thoughts and emotions influence your energy and output—either to enhance or to diminish.  Keeping up your physical energy is a matter of getting good sleep, exercise and maintaining a good diet.  However, maintaining your mental/emotional/spiritual energy requires guarding your thoughts by watching what you allow into your mind.  Remember, misery loves company; so, avoid situations that tend to sap your energy.

Keep your eye on the goal.  Focus on your main task at all times.  Anything else is a distraction or a waste of precious time.  This goes for subtle, yet numerous interruptions as well as obvious fare such as video games. 🙂

Above all, “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  Focus on the major issues that affect you and you will often find that productivity seems to take care of itself, no matter how much time you have.

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