Are you productive? Do you find yourself struggling every day to get everything done that you need to get done and still have some time left for yourself?
Do you wonder if you just don’t have enough time or if you waste the time that you do have?
There are 5 questions that you should ask yourself if you are wondering if you are productive.
#1 – How much time do you spend on your screen?
Cell phones, pads and computers have taken over our lives and they are the number one cause of lack of productivity.
Have you heard of the term “screen suck?” It means the time that we spend on our computer when we don’t mean to. Like when you go on to ‘quickly check your email’ and end up still on an hour later having watched too many cute animal videos.
Being sucked into our screen kills productivity.
So how much time do you spend in in front of your screen? If it’s more than hour, spent surfing instead of getting work done, your productivity is probably lagging.
#2 – Do you have a ‘To-Do’ list?
The most productive people have a list of things that need to get done.
As much as we would all like to believe that we can maintain a running list to-do in our head, it is almost impossible to do so.
Between work and family and social life and work there are so many things that need to get done and to get them done you must keep track of them.
So, if you don’t have an ongoing list, one that prioritizes things that need to get done, you most likely aren’t as productive as you could be.
#3 – Can you say NO?
You know when that mom approaches you at pick-up time and asks if you would mind running the annual school auction? Or when your boss asks you to take over yet another project? How good are you at saying NO?
The most productive people know how many hours they have available in the day and are strong enough to say NO instead of adding one more thing to their already heavy load.
On top of being less productive, when you take on too many things you also become less effective. You can’t do the things you take on as well as you might because you just can’t devote the mental and physical energy needed to do it.
So learn to say NO! Your productivity will increase immediately if you do.
#4 – Can you ask for help?
The most productive people in the world are NOT the people who try to do it all themselves. The most productive people in the world are the ones who are willing to delegate and share tasks to get things done efficiently.
Do you need to do everything in order to get that new project completed on time or are there people you can ask to support you in this endeavor?
Can you take on that school auction and still keep your household running well or might it be a good idea to get someone in to clean your house a couple of times a month?
In this world it’s almost a badge of honor to be so busy that you barely sleep and feel constantly overwhelmed. But the most productive people don’t wear that badge. They know that by asking for help they will be more efficient and effective in their endeavors and not struggle with being overwhelmed and exhausted.
#5 – Are you taking care of yourself?
Being a productive person in the world depends a lot on your physical and emotional wellbeing.
If you are someone who never gets enough sleep, doesn’t eat well or struggles with depression being productive will be challenging.
To be productive you need to have mental clarity and physical stamina. So take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, take a walk and pay attention to your mental health.
If you do you will be well fortified in your efforts to be productive.
So, after asking yourself those questions, what is the answer? Are you productive?
If not, then follow my suggestions.
Limit your screen time, make a list, learn to say no, to ask for help and take care of your physical and mental health.
This is a jam-packed, chaotic and exhausting world that we live in but you can make your little corner of it less so by managing your habits so that you can be productive.
Imagine going to bed at night with most of the things on your list crossed off? How great would that feel?
So go for it! Change those habits and answer YES to the question ‘Are you productive?’
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.