Learning to be more productive will help you to get the important or necessary things done in the time you have. The goal of being more productive is NOT to cram even more stuff in your life. Being efficient and effective in how you get things done will allow you more time for the important stuff in your life, whether that is kids, spouse, your passion, or yourself.
Let’s talk a little about being effective vs being efficient. There is a difference between the two and the best way to remember it is this sentence:
Being effective is about doing the right things, while being efficient is about doing the things in the right manner.
An example of efficient vs effective
Your goal is to clean the tub and shower. You grab a bottle of window cleaner and spray it on the shower and tub, and then start scrubbing rigorously. You scrub and scrub, and after half an hour, your tub looks decent. You were doing the right thing, but doing it poorly (by using the wrong tools). So you were effective at cleaning the tub and shower, but not efficient.
If you took the same window cleaner and sprayed it on the faucet and handles and rubbed to a shine, I could say that you were efficient at shining the faucet, but not effective in reaching the goal of cleaning the shower and tub.
If you sprayed bathtub cleaner on the tub and shower, let it sit 5 minutes, swished a sponge around the surface, and then rinsed it clean, I could say that you were both effective and efficient. You did did the right things to accomplish your goal and did it in a timely manner. (See: How to clean your house fast)
So you want to do both, the right things in the best way possible for the desired outcome.
Timing is everything
Another thing you want to consider is the best time to do certain things. Preparing for tomorrow morning may be best if done tonight. If you are an early bird, maybe you need to go to bed early and get up early to prepare for the day. Knowing your most productive time is important to working effectively and efficiently.
If these activities involve other people such as spouse, children or elderly parents, you need to consider the best time of day for them to be the easiest to work with or manage. Knowing the peak and worst times for those around you as well as yourself can be helpful in making the most of your day.
The stress and exhaustion that come from doing things that you have to do in your life, the responsibilities or the difficult circumstances that you have right now, may not be able to be removed. However, you may be able to adjust or shift some things around to minimize some of the stress. After making some adjustments, you may feel better just because you have exercised a little more control over the situation.
Productivity- doing the right thing at the best possible time in the best possible manner
Instead of doing things how you’ve always done them, see if there is a better way or a better time. Do you need better tools for the job? Is someone else better suited to do the job?
Examine your life. What changes you can implement to be more productive?