Money & Career
3 Simple Ways Productivity Leads to Your Best Self
8/28/2018 11:05:44 AM

What do you think of when you hear the term "self-improvement”? If you’re like a lot of people, you might imagine working your way through giant stacks of self-help books, starting an intensive new exercise regimen, or devoting more time to charitable causes – all of which are certainly worthwhile ways to improve oneself.

However, the path to self-improvement isn’t always about drastic lifestyle changes, says Johan Gunnars, CEO and Co-Founder of Simpliday, an app that allows users to achieve a more organized and efficient life by bringing together meetings, reminders, and emails. "Sometimes the easiest way to get started on the journey to a better version of you is just by doing the little things to get organized, make a plan, and recognize the everyday effort it takes to get there,” says Gunnars.

Improving your productivity is a simple place to begin, and there’s no better time than now to start discovering your best self! Here’s how:

Simplify your life
People often equate doing a lot with getting a lot done. Unfortunately, science tells us this just isn’t the case. Not only can multitasking actually lower productivity, it also increases stress levels in the brain – and nobody is at their best when they’re constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Instead of trying to chip away at every item on your to-do list all at once, simplify your life by organizing day-to-day items into digestible bits. This will help you take things one at a time and accomplish tasks while also maintaining a positive and productive attitude.

Personalize your journey
Just looking at a calendar or day planner can induce panic in some people. The constant alerts, the inability to keep multiple calendars and notes in sync, the long list of appointments in crowded grid spaces that take an engineering degree to edit – it’s no wonder people forego the prospect of a more productive day in order to save themselves from looking at their calendars. That’s a shame because visualizing your day also helps you prioritize the things that matter, so you can focus on what needs your attention and eliminate (or reschedule) what doesn’t. One way to make your list of reminders more welcoming is to make it meaningful. Include pictures to beautify it, prioritize a calendar that easily adapts to your lifestyle and needs, and share it with others if possible. Staying productive is essentially about effective goal planning – and it’s always easier to envision success when it’s personal to you.

Celebrate the small victories
We tend to think of tasks as things you simply cross off a list, but each of these seemingly inconsequential items is a stepping stone to changing or improving your life (yes, even picking up the dry-cleaning). Sometimes life keeps you so busy that you don’t take time to stop and recognize how much you’ve accomplished or how far you’ve come. But it’s all these small wins that quickly add up and make a big difference to your success. At the end of each week, take stock of all you’ve accomplished. Review your list and relish in the tasks you’ve crossed off, appointments you’ve kept, and bits of everyday housekeeping that have helped you to achieve more. This reflection will not only keep you motivated, it will also continually sharpen your focus on whatever it is you’re working towards.

Your priorities are often a pretty accurate reflection of who you are as a person. How you organize these priorities, acknowledge them, and accomplish them has a huge impact on the kind of person you are or aspire to be. That’s why improving your productivity is such a great way to approach self-improvement; it isn’t just something that makes you work better, it also has the potential to make YOU better – and that’s something you can start now and improve upon day by day.
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