How Clear Directions Help with Productivity

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Nothing beats using the weekend to re-center oneself and start the day early to welcome it right.

It’s no surprise that we work best when we get clear directions- at work, at home, and in our daily lives outside of these realms. Not only do clear directions help us define what we are setting out to do, and allow us to measure ourselves against what is expected, but these also act as mental tracks that redirects us to the important objectives at hand. It helps us to focus. In today’s world of numerous devices and multiple screens, focus is hugely underestimated.

Lately, I haven’t had the time to reflect on my yearly “master goal list” that I created at the beginning of the year. This list includes my goals and intentions for the year, and it has specific items broken out by quarter. Since I was still in the middle of revising it and haven’t had the chance to print it out– I know it’s March already– I felt as if I don’t have clearly defined goals. I lacked a sense of direction. This has probably showed in my actions recently, and I realized that I need to have a tangible copy of my goals since it acts like a totem that helps in balancing my life.

Along with that, I’ve been in a rut of sleeping late and not sleeping much in the past month. My food cravings are out of control and I haven’t been as disciplined in my eating habits as I would usually be. I reflected more on this issue over the weekend and I think it’s a result of the stress created by long days and nights created by work and school. Even on the weekends, it didn’t seem like I can correct my habits because of the rhythm that had already been established throughout the week– I still sleep late and end up sleeping later than I would like.

So I decided to change this by waking up early this morning. I did wake up early and felt refreshed; and it didn’t take more sleep to do this. I feel a lot more motivated and inspired- and this is due to reconnecting with what I hold dear. Reviewing my priorities, values and goals help me remember and answer the meaning behind all the actions I take.

And now, it’s just the early afternoon and I feel so productive- I’ve done my weekly chores, went to church, returned a purchase, read my Finance reading. I attribute this not only to waking up early, but to having had the chance to reflect and refocus my energy to the important things.

Sometimes it takes just a small action to create a big impact. Small, continuous improvements lead to big positive changes. I’m now rewarding myself with a lemon poppyseed muffin at a nearby bakery. Exploring the act of incentivizing oneself to increase productivity is due for a post of its own 🙂

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